Simplicity and independence: the beauty in Isan paintings in the Mekong region

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Pisit Kobbun


This research article is aimed at studying the beauty and expression of Isan paintings in the Mekong region and appreciating the beauty of the paintings. The study sites are Wat Pho Kham, Wat Hua Wiang Rang Si and Wat Phuttha Sima in That Phanom District, Nakhon Phanom Province.  On the study results, it is found that the concept of beauty in Isan paintings in the Mekong region involves simplicity and independence. The simplicity and independence are expressed through 3 elements:  executing the painting using lines to create the boundaries of the images, color usage and composition. The simple and free presentation of the paintings is a method beautifying the paintings in a way that does not adhere to the strictness of using lines and colors and the sequential story arrangement in keeping with the style of the Thai traditional paintings of the artisans of the Central Royal Court. This facilitates comprehension of the stories through the images. The objective of this manner of painting is to focus on communicating Buddhist content and community traditions straightforwardly so that it can be understood easily and reach all classes of the population.


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