The Peninsula Bangkok Unveils Heritage-Inspired Artworks

A six-week exhibition spotlights a painting technique used in some of Thailand’s greatest monuments.

All photos courtesy of The Peninsula Bangkok

Local residents and travelers visiting The Peninsula Bangkok before the end of the year can now get a closer look at the vanishing Thai lacquer-art technique of Lai Kammalor through a special showcase by acclaimed artist Niroj Jarungjitvittawat, an Associate Professor at the city’s Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin. A dozen of his intricate paintings are currently on display on the mezzanine floor and in the dedicated artist’s studio at the riverside hotel through December 30, 2022.

Collectively titled SATI, whose name was taken from a Buddhist term meaning mindfulness or consciousness, the exhibited works were commissioned as part of The Peninsula Bangkok’s artist in residence program. Lai Kammalor has its roots in the Ayutthaya period, and employs lacquer, gold leaf, and powdered tempera to create elaborately patterned designs. These were used to adorn the doors, windows, partitions, and cabinetry in some of Thailand’s grandest historic palaces and temples — including the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Associate Professor Niroj has made it his personal mission to preserve this artistic tradition through his own works.

“My dedication to Lai Kammalor goes beyond simply wanting to introduce this ancient Thai method to modern-day art enthusiasts, or to my students,” he said in a statement. “It is my way of promoting the higher cultural values embodied in the approach — goodness, faith, truth — to viewers around the world.”

Niroj Jarungjitvittawat at work inside a studio at The Peninsula Bangkok.

The artist and assistant professor with his paintings in the hotel’s gallery space.

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