Most people don’t think of art and culture when they think of Thailand. They’d rather think of Japan or China. Many people with cultural interests find Thailand a rather superficial country, that’s lacking depth.
And that’s not surprising. Because at first glance it seems to be just like that. Thai art is something that is difficult to discover – especially for foreigners.
Because on the one hand, you find sensationally staged spectacles, disneyesque productions of Thai arts that mainly serve the purpose of appealing to a wide audience of tourists. And on the other hand there are well-meant, but rather simple art creations – either because of a lack of money, often combined with a lack of talent.
But there are many people in Thailand who have dedicated their life fully to Thai arts – and they form a masterclass in and of themselves.
Traditional Thai Dance
This dance is called khon and is a perfect example for other areas of Thai arts: often you can see colorful, intricate, dazzling and enigmantic costumes – and exaggerated behaviors. But it isn’t the wild, intensive, primal dance like in Indonesia for example. And neither is it the gracefulness of classical ballet.
It can in fact appear boring, and it often so happens that people fall asleep in the audience. Accompanied by the singing that’s based on strange harmonic scales, that seem to resemble a cat’s wail more closely than music.
But as with many really good things, the beauty of Khon dance can only fully be discovered and appreciated, when you are properly prepared for it. But then it’s all the more the case. All of the sudden it’s not somniferous or weird anymore – but hypnotic and enchanting. It’s the crossing into another realm, a dreamlike world made out of spellbinding fairy tales and myths.
The Japanese ikebana is known all around the world. So are Chinese bonsai trees. Few people know that Thailand too has a highly complex, unique form of flower arrangements.
Interestingly, it’s the exact opposite of the Chinese approach. It’s not about imitating nature – rather the opposite: something natural is turned into something artificial and fantastic, that would never exist in nature. Wild flowers are transformed into geometric constructs, threedimensional pieces of fractal art.
There are many other examples for traditional and modern arts in Thailand – from the fascinating puppet plays, the colorful murals and so many other things that will elate the hearts of art connoisseurs. If you want to find out more about this hidden side of Thailand, then our Custom Trip Design is just the right match for you – because here we can help you to design a program suited to your personal interests.