Culture, Painting, Ceramics, and Crafts
Architectural ceramics, filigree pattern, temple buildings, silk weaving, worshipers
Temple mural paintings are one of Thailand’s great artistic achievements. Bold, vibrant colors enhanced with gold leaf adorn walls in many temple buildings in a tapestry-like motif. The scenes, which cover entire walls, are inspired by Buddhist doctrines and usually intended to teach worshipers about religion and morality. They are painted without depth, shadow, or perspective. Some Thai artists, particularly those who have traveled abroad for training or exhibitions, are experimenting with combining Thai Buddhist concepts and western abstraction. Others are producing paintings that maintain traditional Thai cultural values but reflect problems in society.
Glazed ceramics are also one of the classic Thai arts. Architectural ceramics adorned the numerous temples built by the kingdom of Sukhothai. Thai glazed ware later included bowls, dishes, jars, bottles, and pots made for export to other areas of Southeast Asia.
The Thai crafts of cotton and silk weaving have a long tradition of royal patronage and continue to reflect the country’s distinct national identity. In weaving centers in the north, the northeast, and parts of the south, weavers reproduce traditional Thai patterns. Other crafts include ornamental woodcarving, lacquerwork, and mother-of-pearl inlay. The country is also known for its metalwork, including intricate use of twisted and soldered metal threads to form a filigree pattern.
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