It is my pleasure to write about Chakrabhand Posayakrit and his upcoming exhibitions in 2018. In one of his interviews he said the reason why he chose to study fine arts and sculpture was because he loved Thai culture and tradition: painting, sculpting, Khon performance, puppets performance, Thai traditional music. He is also interested in Thai traditional dancing. Over the past 10 years, his focus has been mainly on puppet making and performance as he created and improved the way to make puppets and perform puppet dancing. Furthermore, sculpting the Buddha image and painting realistic portraits were also his forte.
The Chakrabhand Posayakrit Foundation was established to preserve and maintain Thai art and Buddhism. They created teams of artists to restore mural paintings in temples, make bronze sculptures, repair ancient book cabinets, furniture, and puppets as well as making clothing for puppets.
The first rotating series of exhibitions by National Artist Chakrabhand Posayakrit will be held on Sunday 19 August – 25 December 2018 at 13.00 – 16.00 PM at the Chakrabhand Posayakrit Foundation in Bangkok
Chakrabhand began his primary and secondary education at Vajiravudh College which is a private school. Since he was a very talented student in the art of painting, Chakrabhand received full support from the school director. When he was just nine years old, the school director brought Chakrabhand, who painted a portrait of thePrince Chaofa Vajiralongkorn, to an audience with King Bhumibholadulyadej (Rama the IX) to give that portrait to the king.
Chakrabhand’s artistic talent was widely recognized despite the fact that he was so young. When he was around 16 years old, his father brought him to meet Professor Silp Bhirasri from Silpakorn University to train more in the art of painting. Later, Chakrabhand applied to Silpakorn University and received merit scholarships for good grades from the University when he was in the second year of his study until he graduated.
Apart from merit scholarships, Assistant Professor Fua Haripithak (the National Artist in Visual Arts 1985), complimented Chakrabhand on his color experimentation and artistic elements in the painting “Pran Boon, the hunter, captured Manorah, the Kinnaree” (Kinnaree is one of the female mythological creatures in Thai old literature). He said “This painting is a piece of mesmerizingly creative artwork."
In addition to this, Chakrabhand has made some notable accomplishments in his career over the years as follows;
- Bronze medal from the National Art Exhibition in 1965.
- Silver medals from the National Art Exhibition in 1965 – 1973.
- Excellent supporter in the conservation of Thai cultural heritage in 1989.
- Received an honorary doctorate degree in Applied Arts, Silpakorn University, 1994.
- Selected to be one of the 52 chief craftsmen of Rattanakosin period.
- Selected to be the National Artist in Visual Arts, 2000.
Some works of Chakrabhand can be seen in various locations in Bangkok, such as:
- Design for the stage curtain of the Thailand Cultural Center.
- Responsible for the repair of Hun Wangna (wooden puppets) which is a national heritage of Thailand. Along with this, complete research for every step was conducted and published as book “Hun Wangna” in 1997.
- Work as the project leader in mural paintings for Wat Tri Tossathep temple.
- Work as the project leader in mural paintings for Wat Khao Sukim temple.
Over a period of 50 years, the potential of Chakrabhand in artistic works was realized. Apart from his proficiency in paintings, his literary works are comparable to many famous Thai writers, His documentary travel guidebook “Sasiwimon Thongtheaw” was well received and was awarded as an excellent narrative documentary travel guidebook .
Currently, Chakrabhand’s house and workplace at Aekamai Road is also the location of Chakrabhand Posayakrit Foundation which collects knowledge of art and crafting as well as his collection of paintings. Everyone, especially newer generations, can study masterful works of art and be proud to preserve all of these national heritages for the next generation.
Also worth mentioning here is Chakrabhand’s wooden puppets set called “Talengpai” that he has created for several decades. All his wooden puppets are truly full of the spirits of Thai national heritage and are crafted beautifully with adorning genuine jewelry. People who see them are impressed by their beauty and have said that these puppets are “incomparably gorgeous”.
This year, Chakrabhand will be 75 years old (16 August 2018). The Chakrabhand Posayakrit foundation unanimously agreed to create an exhibition for this special occasion. This time the exhibition will be more diversified by rotating many sets of Chakrabhand’s art including, paintings, handicrafts, and wooden puppets. The foundation believes that the exhibition on this special occasion will be certainly beneficial to general audiences as well as school and university students.
Chakrabhand Posayakrit used to say that “the time flies so quick. Soon we all will be old. Like many people said that art life is so long life but human life is too short. For me, however, art and human life is equally long. It is indeed endless”.