The artistic skills of craftsmen of the Bangsai Royal Arts and Crafts Centre under the royal patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit go on show this Saturday at Siam Paragon’s second floor Lifestyle Hall in a tribute to Her Majesty on her birthday.
Visitors will be able to admire and snap up pottery, oil paintings, applied paintings and Thai lacquer works. The exhibition titled “Stylistic Diversity in Painting, Bangsai Royal Arts and Crafts Centre” runs through August 12, and part of the proceeds will be contributed to the fund initiated by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit in support of the centre.
“The Bangsai Centre has always appreciated the Queen Mother’s vision for the future of Thai arts and crafts. Bangsai has become a learning centre that focuses on equipping rural farmers with vocational skills that can earn them extra income in their free time. It also focuses on preserving and passing down all branches of traditional arts,” explained General Tiansak Palayanont, the centre’s executive vice president.
“Painting is a form of fine art with a variety of expression techniques. We are presenting here pottery artworks, oil painting, applied paintings and lacquer works that have traditional Thai painting woven into them. This exhibition aims to disseminate knowledge while also showcasing the skills of our teachers and students, all of whom are masters of Thai arts. The collection of showpieces on display here has graced other national-level art shows. So, this event will be a great chance for Thai and foreign visitors alike to appreciate them and for the artworks themselves to reach a wider audience.”
Buranin Gawee, former student and currently assistant teacher of pottery at Bangsai Centre, said: “I am very grateful to Her Majesty for founding the centre. Not only does it provide us with free vocational training, but it also gives all students allowances, food, and accommodation. In the 24 years I have spent here, I have had many opportunities to receive training. I have learned the value of Thai arts and crafts. I didn’t even have the basics when I first started out. I am so lucky to have been given these opportunities. The centre does not only support you with vocational training, it also encourages you to go after education and study to earn a bachelor’s degree”.
Kritsaka Seeputtha, an artisan of Thai lacquer works, reflected: “Had I not been given the opportunity to be apprenticed to Thai arts and crafts here, my life would not come this far. I actually graduated with a diploma as an auto mechanic, but I have always been interested in Thai lacquer works. The centre has given me both opportunities and knowledge. Nowadays, there is only a handful of people who can create ancient Ayutthaya-era lacquer works. Having trained here, we can apply our knowledge and skills to the preservation of various Thai arts and crafts. It is to Her Majesty’s credit that the centre was established and our traditional arts and artisans are valued. I have been given many life-changing opportunities. I went from being unemployed to being able to make a living”.
The highlights of the exhibition include an oil painting of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit by Saman Klungjaturut, a mixed-media sculpture titled “Barn” priced at Bt50,000, a porcelain set “the Land of Happiness” costing Bt30,000, and a powder-coated and gilded Thai lacquer work portraying Wat Suthat Thepphawararam, which has a Bt35,000 price tag. The exhibition also features the depth-enhanced “Andaman Sea Round Dishes” inspired by the abundance of marine life priced at Bt40,000, and “Buddha Square Tiles” with traditional Thai patterns painted on the tiles on sale for Bt26,000.
Demonstrations of sundry painting techniques by teachers and students of oil painting, applied painting, pottery, and Thai lacquer works will also be available.