Panya Vijinthansarn's symbolic use of the sacred Buddha image, especially the Buddha face, has been his artistic oeuvre since 1980. Serene, sad, pensive or radiating compassion, these Buddha images carry the artist's messages relating to the present crisis of civilization. Panya believes this situation is a result of past action and an unbalanced focus on the advance of science and technology geared to provide material conveniences and luxuries in human life. This fostering of a craving consumerist culture concerned with economic success has been to the detriment of natural resources and spiritual development.

Panya doesn't want to preach but wishes to prick the conscience and raise awareness of the confusion created by the conflicting old and new ways and the ever-changing conditions of religion and society. He promotes the 'truths' of harmony with nature and self-reliance, and these fundamentals of Dhamma are the driving force in Panya's creations as he attempts to find a new space for art and Buddhism.

Early in his career, Panya was in a team of Silpakorn University art students working on the mural paintings at Luang Por Rishi Ling Dum Temple in Uthai Thani. The abbot at that temple wanted the artists to understand and experience the essence of what they were to paint before embarking on the project, so he taught them manoyidhi meditation. During this practice, Panya says he had a mystic experience in which he saw Heaven and it appeared 'as a scene from traditional Thai art'.

A British Council scholarship in 1982 enabled Panya to study at the Slade School of Fine Arts at University College, London and to explore western culture for three years. In 1985 to 1987, Panya led a team to decorate Buddha Padipa Temple in Wimbledon, London, with neo-traditional murals which dealt with the conventional subjects of the Three Worlds, the Birth of the Buddha, Nirvana and the Defeat of Mara, but which incorporated traditional motifs juxtaposed with modern-day media icons and images, vivid colors and disturbing contradictions. The success of this project led to further commissions to create the mural paintings for the Thai Pavilion at Expo '88 in Brisbane and Expo '92 in Seville. From 1995 to 1996, he was commissioned by the Siam Commercial Bank to paint murals for the new Head Office and he also collaborated in illustrating His Majesty the King of Thailand's book, "Mahajanaka".