Text written by
Virginia Henderson
Lertsiri Bovornkitti

Contemporary Thai art reveals similar characteristics expressed through a variety of modern art forms. Creatively mixing the past with the present, Thai artists today explore the world through their art, with an awareness and pride in their unique heritage.

The decoration of Buddhist temples with mural paintings, an act of merit-making, served to disseminate the Lord Buddha’s teachings and to elevate the religion. Traditional Thai artists applied high aesthetic and decorative values while communicating and exploring Buddhist themes, which focus on the inevitability of change, impermanence, the cycle of life and respect for nature.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Thailand entered a period of modernization, with western influences in the forms of technology, communications and government making impression on the country. This radical transition and growth was also reflected in the arts, which began to show signs of new perspectives and a focus on realism and the study of nature.

Thai art today is an eclectic integration of styles…as Thai artists experiment with a variety of international and indigenous means of expression. It is innovative yet deeply rooted in the Thai heritage.

The distinctive qualities of Thai art result from the coexistence of polar opposites: Thai and Western, traditionalism and modernism, figuration and abstraction.

By synthesizing the old and new, Thai artists reinterpret and express their ideas and values, freely and creatively.

In Thai contemporary art, two main artistic approaches are apparent – those artists who choose to experiment and adopt more western artistic styles and those who prefer to work more closely with traditional Thai techniques and to promote a particular sense of Thai national identity. Through their various perceptions of social, cultural and moral values, both groups contribute to the range of aesthetic and conceptual characteristics existing in the Thai art scene. The results of their creations are identifiable as Thai art – yet characteristically innovative.

Unique aesthetic, spiritual and cultural expressions give Thai art a special value and ensure its importance in the art world today.

Please browse through the artists selections available through Iklektik. Questions and inquiries regarding an artists or whether a particular piece is available for purchase can be addressed to info@iklektik.com