Actress Petchara Chaowarat, who appeared in some 300 films from 1961 to 1979, memorably starring opposite the late Mitr Chaibancha, is among 12 people the Culture Ministry has newly recognised as National Artists.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, in his capacity as chairman of the National Culture Commission, announced the list on Thursday (February 21).
Petchara, affectionately nicknamed as “Honey Drop” for her beautiful round eyes, is among six new National Artists in the performing arts.
The others are likay folk theatre specialist Wiroj Weerawattananon, menorah dancer Kan Chaowapong, music composer Sukhon Pornpiroon, Thai music and entertainment maestro Prapas Cholsaranon, and TV soap opera star Somsook Kaljaruek.
Recognised for their contributions to the visual arts are sculptor Chin Prasong, painter Prinya Tantisuk, weaver Khumpoun Srisai and interior architect Kongsak Yuktasevi.
The newest National Artists in literature are Chamlong Fungcholjitr and Saneh Sangsuk.
A ceremony is being arranged at which the 12 artists will receive a pin and shield of honour from His Majesty the King, Wissanu said.
The commission has since 1985 annually bestowed the title of National Artist (Sinlapin Haeng Chat in Thai) on people who have made significant contributions to Thailand’s “intangible cultural heritage”.
To date, 307 artists have been named, of whom 150 are now deceased.