16 creative greats named
Writer Khunying Wimon "Thommayanti" Siriphaibun, 76, actor-director Dokdin Kanyamarn, 88, and singer Somsuan "Ploen Phromdaen" Phromsawang, 72, are among 16 people to be bestowed with the title National Artist for 2012, Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome said yesterday.Following a meeting of the National Culture Commission yesterday, Sonthaya said the 16 awardees were selected from 477 nominees (101 Visual Arts nominees, 86 Literary Arts nominees, and 290 Performing Arts nominees).
Besides the three above-mentioned, the Visual Arts category winners were Assoc Prof Khemmarat Kongsuk, Neung Fangsrikham, Prof Wichoke Mukdamanee, and Prof Aree Suthipan.
The Literary Arts winners were Nongchanai Parinyathawat, Khunying Kullasap Gesmankit and Makut Onrudee. The Performing Arts winners were Buason Thanomboon, Manas Pitisan, Lt-Colonel Sanoh Luangsuntorn, Lt-Colonel Wichit Hothai, Khlaonoi Rojanamethakul and Thassanee Khunthong.
Since the National Artist Selection Project started in 1985, a total of 237 persons have been named national artists and 140 of them are still alive, Sonthaya said.
The award presentation ceremony, presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, will take place at the National Cultural Centre on February 24, which marks National Artist Day.
Somsuan said he was happy to be honoured after being nominated three times before and vowed to continue his musical works.
Thommayanti's writings include "Thawiphop", a historical fantasy novel about a woman who time-travels from the 20th century to Rama V-era Siam, and "Khu Kam", a romance novel about a Thai woman and a Japanese soldier during World War II. She intends to write her last masterpiece about Buddha before retiring.
Dokdin, a Bangkok-based artist whose acting career started at the age of 11, has produced 32 Thai films, 24 of which earned over Bt1 million.