The art of Thai Painting
ในชีวิตประจำวันของคนเรา ตั้งแต่ตื่นนอนลืมตาขึ้นมา ก็พบเห็นสิ่งต่างๆ ที่อยู่รอบตัว นับตั้งแต่ตัวของเราเอง พ่อแม่พี่น้อง สิ่งของต่างๆ เช่น ตู้ เตียง โต๊ะ เครื่องมือเครื่องใช้ เมื่อมองออกไปข้างนอกหน้าต่างจะแลเห็นท้องฟ้า พระอาทิตย์ ต้นไม้ ดอกไม้ และสิ่งมีชีวิตอีกมากมายตามลักษณะของสภาพแวดล้อม ซึ่งมีทั้งสภาพแวดล้อมตามธรรมชาติ เช่น ต้นไม้ สัตว์ และสภาพแวดล้อมที่มนุษย์สร้างขึ้นมา เช่น ตึกรามบ้านช่อง ถนน สะพาน และสิ่งปลูกสร้างอื่นๆ รวมทั้งสิ่งของอำนวยความสะดวกแก่มนุษย์อีกมากมายหลายชนิด
เมื่อเรามองเห็นสิ่งใด เรามักต้องการที่จะถ่ายทอดภาพที่เห็นรวมทั้งความรู้สึกนึกคิดที่อยู่ในใจให้ผู้อื่นรับรู้ การถ่ายทอดทำได้หลายทาง เช่น การบอกเล่า การเขียน และการวาด เป็นเครื่องมือในการสื่อความหมาย
รูปภาพที่เขียนขึ้น เพื่อถ่ายทอดความรู้สึกนึกคิดต่างๆ นี้ มีหลายลักษณะ บางภาพเหมือนจริง บางภาพไม่เหมือนจริง
In each day of our lives, countless images are memorized into our sophisticated brain,from those of the dinning tableto the clear blue sky, the sun, flowers, animals, houses, roads, etc. It is our very nature to share the experiences and the images we have seen with others. There are many ways this communication can be done e.g. by verbal, in writting, or by reportducing the images in a painting.
Paintings are not necessary portraits of images but rather the ways the painters see them. And that is why it is regarded as one kind of arts.
What make paintings are lines and colors of different weights. Color not only adds dimensions to a painting but also emotion and feeling. Paint used was normally made from something available in around the house such as soil, rocks, plants, and even animals. Thai painters in the past mostly used powder paint with glue to paint temple walls. The painters would first dehydrate the raw material and grind it to fine particle. Mixed with glue made out of animal skin and water they were ready to paint.
All of the ancient Thai mural paintings were done on dry plastered walls different to the western style, so called "Fresco", which was to be performed while it was still wet. Ancient Thai paintings were mostly related to Buddhism and hence they generally could be found on tempele walls. Unfortunately as Thailand climate is very humid, the walls, made from bricks, absorbed the humidity and corroded and inevitably the paintings were damaged. Moreover, high humidity is also a perfect condition for fungi which ate into the materials made up the color and hence also ruined the paintings. For these reasons Thai ancient painting can rarely be found in good conditions and the renovation is very difficult task.
Thai paintings also painted on textiles and papers using the powder paint. The forst oil painting in Thailand was produced during the reign od King Rama VI. Since then it has become more and more popular as it is more durable than the powder paint. Nowadays,paints are industrially produced from chemicals and various kinds of material and hence the art of painting has again evolved.
Art and Society
Since the beginning of mankind our society has been contiously changed, at times for the better and at the other for the worse. We learn about our histories and our ancestors from what they have left, painting is one of the artifacts. From them, we can learn about environment, the behaviors and the way of thinking of our ancestors in the period and hence the paintings are probably the best records of our histories.
Studying the paintings, it has become obvious that changes in style of painting do correlate with evolutions of human societies and environment. In the civilizations where there have been continuous developments, paintings do as well vary, while on the other hand in am isolated group there is almost no change in itsart. With that said, the contemporary art of Thai painting does in certain way reflect the essence of our society.
Art and Religions
Buddhism is one of the most important basic of Thai society. Most of the cultures, traditions and arts including paintings are rooted in Buddhism philosophy. The beliefs are passed on through generations by monks, teacheres as well families.
In Thai society, where people are very dependent and highly socialized. temple have been traditionally the center of all the activities. Primary education is also one of the things offered to Thai youths and hence painting, which is another medium of conveying the knowledge, can be normally found in temples.
Paintings on the wall of the consecreated halls are normally depicting interesting stories the painters wanted th impatr to the rest of the society. They are also evident of great teamwork starting from the architect who built the hall, to the sculpture Buddha image is outright the most important piece in the hall and thus sculpture the image and its foundation is the most significant duty. The profile and size of the hall subsequently have to be properly deigned to match the image. Lastly, content, size, pattern and color composition of the painting then have to be carefully planned to complement and promote the beauty of the principle Buddha image. That is why the paintings normally look very peaceful.
Mural painting is time-consuming task, some took decades to complete. The master painter who manages the whole project will supervise his team of painters and at the same time teach them his techniques so that they can assist him in finishing the masterpiece. Each painting is then practically a school of art. The protgs start out helping their mentor on miscellaneous matters such as grinding paints, prime coating, etc.till they possed adequate skill and more importantly the respect. Only then will they be allowed to handle the brushes. The lesson continues until they are proficient before getting a chance to participate in actual painting. The art of Thai painting has always been passed on through generations via this process. It is then to no surprise that Thai painters have the utmost respect for their teachers as they did not only learn from them the skills but also the values and virtues.
There is generally no record of names and histories of most of early Thai painters as there is no name or signature left on the paintings. The reason is that most the paintings were religious and hence painters would do their endeavors for free as their good deeds. This also shows their values in the beauty and the meaning of the painting above their own recognitions.From what was gathered, most of the early Thai painters lived in temples. Some were actually monks who interested in the art and learned from the expert till they were skillful.
In addition to mural painting, Thai painters also powder-painted on papers. Most of the paintings were illustrations of either traditional novels or occupational textbooks such as house-building, medication, massage and traditional medicine. These were found both in primitive form, used only simple lines and colors, and sophisticated art masterpiece.
The traditional Thai painting in temples were mostly 2 dimensional. Style and charactor of colors varied from periods, for example paintings from Ayuthayaperiod were generally more colorful as paints were imported from China, japan and Europe. They were besides frequently gilded for additional glow and beauty.
Emotions of a painting can be conveyed through its colors as well as composition and gestures of the images in the painting. Position, arrangement and gesture of humans, creature and angles all attract theviewers to the contents. Traditional Thai painters put their best efforts into these details to make sure that the passiona were properly and creatively presented.
Influences of Eastern and Western culture on each other.
Art and culture evolve constantly, transfer from one civilization to another. When the western culture arrived the eastern lands, the eastern culture once again changed and inevitably the style of painting was influenced, both philosophically and methodologically. Paintings obviously changedfrom being mostly idealistic, in which figures were realistic with 3 dimensioning, lighting and shading. Human figures were painted more physically accurate and scenery more perceptively correct.
On the other hand,the exhibitions of African Tribal arts in Europe in 20ththe century initiatedchanges in western arts, especially inFrances. Artists adopted the concept of materials, effects of illumination and color on objects and relationship of patterns and created their own styles. Among those were the well-known names like Frances' Paul Cezanne(1839 - 1906) and George Braque (1882 - 1963) and Spain' Pablo Picasso(1881 -1972)
Theseexchanges of influences between cultures have been happening and will continue to take place. Consequently, the art of painting will continue to evolve.
Influences of Western cultures on traditional Thai painting
Westerntechniques were first used in traditional Thai painting in the reign of King Rama IV by paint master In Khong, also know as Krua In Khong. He, in his monkhood residing at Raja Burana temple, adopted into his traditional Thai painting rules of prespective which added dimensions to his paintings and uses of illumination and color for atmostpheric impact. He also appliedwestern compositions and architechtures in his works. Some of his works even depicted western climate.
Thai traditional painting on paper or canvas was traceable back to the period of King Rama V, reference to watercolor painting by His Highness Prince Narisara Nuwattiwong. The first Thai oil painting on canvas, a portrait of King RamaII, was done by Phra Soraluk Likhit. Phraya Anusart Jitrakorn was another famous traditional Thai painter to be studied about.
edit @ 31 Jul 2011 20:46:39 by cheeranan