The Royal Intention to Produce Works of Art in King Vajiravudh Reign

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Nuaon Khrouthongkhieo

Abstract

The aim of this research is to study: 1) the influence of local and global contexts on artists’ creations 2) artistic patterns created in the reign of King Vajiravudh 3) King Vajiravudh’s own intentions. The research uses historical research approaches, which are as follow: 1) Study primary and secondary documents related to the context of art during the reign of King Vajiravudh, such as the writings involving royal histories and the analysis of royal art in both concept and style. 2) Select the works of art that were created according to His Majesty's wishes and the royal initiative of King Vajiravudh. 3) Analyze and synthesize information about the artistic architectures and objects with the information from documents. The research concludes that artists’ creations during King Vajiravudh’s period were impacted by the lack of solidarity among Thai citizens and globally by conflicts regarding the denial of monarchy, the dissemination of socialism and democracy, and the First World War. Artistic patterns preferred by King Vajiravudh included Thai traditional art, western art, and the combination of Thai and western art. King Vajiravudh’s intentions in making art works were to conceptualize memories through the making of “Monuments”, to conduct nationalism, and to preserve, direct and create a Thai identity. The conclusions were based on the context during King Vajiravudh’s succession period when he confronted the lack of solidarity among people in the country. He used nationalism to encourage the people’s spirit. He created national history and communal memories through memorial sites and monuments with the King at the center. He created art works, both traditional Thai and adaptations of contemporary western styles, as a selection to represent Siam’s prosperity and civilization.

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References

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