The Transition of Thai Culture

The fundamental idea behind the collection was to honour traditional objects, patterns and historic murals that are bound to disappear through time. The main theme explored was the transition of Thai culture, in particular, the temple Wat Chai Si and others in the Northeast region of the Thailand bordering Cambodia.

The traditional objects studied were the Khit pillow, Hap (Basket), Phan (Tray) and several instruments used customarily for ceremonies, weddings, funerals and other religious proceedings. In particular, the Khit pillow was fundamental to begin this art series as it led me into a deeper appreciation for Thai cultural heritage, immigration, politics and symbolism. In the past, Thai society used weaving as a method of bartering to exchange for living supplies such as rice and household items. This method has slowly evolved through minor cultural changes, causing these traditions to be lost in time. Today, fewer Thai women know how to weave, and factory produced textiles have replaced the traditional hand-woven cloth. The relationship between people and their traditions is fast disappearing as factories have prolifer- ated and taken over the textile industry. The artisanal beauty and textures that come with objects crafted by hand can now be considered a memory of the old traditions of the country and its people.

This installation celebrates Thai traditions and culture to preserve the value of the forgotten customs. It is a representation of old things forgotten, in order to remember Thailand as it was, which will endure even through the unpredictable and chaotic stages of life.

 

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Pimpawan Wangamonmit

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