According to pharmacylib, Thai art, formerly Siamese art, is the art of the peoples who settled in the central and southern parts of Thailand (Mon, Khmer, Malay, Burman) and the Tai tribes who immigrated to northern Thailand, for whom Hinayana Buddhism is particularly influential.
Thailand is rich in prehistoric evidence. The pottery of the Ban Chiang culture in northeast Thailand, discovered in 1957, with elaborate carved or painted ribbon and spiral motifs, was produced for a total of over two thousand years (approx. 2100 BC to 200 AD). Prehistoric rock carvings were discovered in 1981 on the rocky slopes of Pha Taem over the Mekong.
Indian influence became noticeable in the 1st century AD and had an impact on the artistic work of the Mon, who are related to the Khmer tribe. Century (empire Haripunjaya) in northern Thailand spread their culture.
During the 11th – 13th In the 19th century, the Chao Phraya plain became the province of the Khmer Empire, the capital of which, Lop Buri, was a center of culture and art.
The art of Sukhothai (13th – 15th centuries) shaped, with the inclusion of stylistic elements, among others. the Khmer, Mon and from Sri Lanka an independent Buddhist art direction. In the representation of the Buddha, in addition to traditional postures (sitting, standing and resting), there was the striding Buddha; some of them are colossal laterite figures covered with stucco and bronze work. The flowing lines and oval head shapes are characteristic of the Sukhothai style.
The fine stucco décor of the temples is also excellent, e.g. B. of the Vat Mahathat in Sukhothai (14th century). The tower sanctuaries (prang) that also occur in Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai (near today’s town of Sawankhalok) represent a characteristic building type of Ayutthaya art.
The third ruin site is Kampheng Phet, founded around 1360. The gray Sawankhalok pottery (celadon, 13th – 15th centuries) fired in the area of Si Satchanalai with a sand-colored, blue or green tint was widespread throughout Southeast Asia.
Another art center was established in Lan Na, the northern Thai empire founded in the 13th century with the capital Chiang Mai (since 1296). The Lan-Na or Chiang-Mai art replaced the Haripunjaya style, to which the Chedi is owed. The imaginative facades are characteristic of the Lan-Na temple architecture.
Art in the great empire of Ayutthaya (14th to 18th centuries) combined earlier styles in fine forms. The tendency towards stylization and ornamental overloading of the sculptures (Buddha in royal jewelry), noticeable from the 16th century onwards, ushered in the decline of Ayutthaya art. The architecture followed the models of Sukhothai art, combined with a return to the monumental architectural style of Angkor: spacious temples and graceful soaring prang (e.g. the 82 m high Vat Arun in Thon Buri), tombs, terraced columned halls and small ones Central stupas surrounded by stupas (Khmer art). The prang lived on in the Bangkok period (end of the 18th century until today), as did the chedi.
Typical of Thai architecture are the stacked roofs with glazed roof tiles (reddish brown, golden yellow, blue, green). Wall painting, which has been handed down since the 13th century, was also given a specific form; the largest painted, 2,562 m 2area in the Vihara of the Vat Suthat in Bangkok was restored in 1982-85 with German help.
Contacts with China can be attributed to the inlaid work with mother-of-pearl (on the doors and shutters of the temples). However, patterns, ornaments and manufacturing are Thai. The lacquer work in black gold and the silk weaving go back to Chinese influence.
Thai art is partly religiously determined to this day, although from the middle of the 19th century the influx of western culture caused a gradual departure from tradition. The traditional painting technique and the cosmology of Buddhism have been experiencing their renaissance since the 1980s in huge wall and ceiling paintings (including in the hall of the Indra Regent Hotel in Bangkok). The Italian-born artist Corrado Feroci (later called Silpa Bhirasri; * 1892, † 1962), who taught in various institutions from 1927, played a major role in the development of modern art in Thailand. In 1977 the National Gallery was founded in Bangkok. Well-known contemporary representatives of individual styles are Montien Boonma (* 1953, † 2000) and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (* 1957).
Thai literature, formerly Siamese literature.
The oldest evidence of Thai literature is the inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng carved on a stone pedestal(1292; National Museum Bangkok). The ruler reports here about his family, his government and the political and social conditions of his empire. The further development of Thai literature is only poorly known. The first book, the cosmography “Traiphum” (The Three Worlds), could have been written around 1450; it conveys a coherent presentation of the Hindu-Buddhist cosmological ideas. From the 16th century onwards, literature spreads out in all its breadth: poetics, epic and dramatic, versed texts, stories and fairy tales, legislation that is significant in terms of content and scope, popular scientific texts on almost all areas of knowledge such as astrology, medicine as well as animal and Botany, chronicles, Sayings and numerous Buddhist-inspired treatises and poems. Only a part of it has been examined from a literary perspective. The great epics are referred to as “bot lakhon” (theater) texts, as their verses were particularly recited during performances of the classical theater form. The most important national poetry is the “Ramakien”, which is based on the Indian “Ramayana”, but which is considerably expanded and comprises more than 70,000 verses. Under the first two kings of the Chakri dynasty (1782–1824), the fragments known up to then were combined to form the poetry that is available today. More important for the knowledge of the Thai culture, however, is the epic “Khun Chang Khunphen”, a work designed entirely from autochthonous feelings. Its approximately 45,000 verses contain a description of the Thai world of feeling and perception. One of the most extensive genres of Thai poetry includes the texts called “Nirat” (farewell poetry), of which more than a hundred are known. Many are associated with the names of important poets (e.g. Sunthon Phu, * 1786, † 1855). This form has remained alive to this day, even if the Western-influenced novel has become dominant in recent times. The Jatakas from the Buddhist canon are still popular as folk tales.
From around 1900 a rich fiction was developed under Western influence, but without neglecting traditional forms. The decisive turning point was the coup d’état of 1932, which ended the absolute monarchy. The emerging new middle class tried to shape the problems of the present in novels and stories that borrow their subject matter from the bourgeois and proletarian milieu. Poetry also flourished again (Angkhan Kalayanaphong, * 1926, † 2012; Nauwarat Pnongphaibun, * 1940; Khomthuon Khanthanu, * 1950); the texts follow the traditional canon of forms.