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Floral motifs in contemporary Thai art

May 25, 2010

 It is very nice to see that some contemporary Thai art fits into the tradition of perfected Asian floral motifs. Some local artists in Chiang Mai hand paint unique pieces of pottery, of such a high quality I am sure they will end up at national museums worldwide. The only problem is that these artists may not have any successors, and currently there is a trend among youngsters away from patience-demanding fine arts and science. The only way to assure their survival is to support them. Rather than buying a teddy bear with the badge “I love Phuket”, which will be trashed next time you move, you could buy an exquisite souvenir that will last in your family for generations. Some floral motifs have ancient religious importance, such as the flowers of the Palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer), which symbolise long life and independence. Other floral motifs are more modern, and purely ornamental, which also reflects the current trends in Thai gardening, from vegetable gardens to more experimental gardens aimed at meditation. 

Eric Danell

Dokmai Garden supports local artists. Here is a contemporary celadon vase painted with Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, which you can admire when visiting Dokmai Garden. We have planted real Hibiscus rosa-sinensis along a 350 meter long road. This plant is native to southern China, and so are the Thai-speaking people. The long hedge symbolises their long migration, and the five colours symbolise five  Thai languages or dialects (Siamese, Lao, Lanna, Shan and Zhuang).

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