Appreciating Lai Thai from Exemplars Figure 1: Prince Siddhartha This presentation is designed to accompany the chapter “Lai Thai: A Closer Look at Intriguing Thai Ornaments” in the NAEA publication: Teaching Asian Art: Content, Context, and Pedagogy. Ampai Tiranasar, Ph.D. Dept. of Art, Music, and Dance Education, Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand Email: email@example.com
Figure 1: Prince Siddhartha Figure 1 comes from the panel of a bookcase of the Bangkok period depicting Prince Siddhartha leaving his wife and his newly born child to retire into an ascetic life in search of answers concerning his quest or the causes of human birth, suffering, and death. This illustration represents a typical Thai traditional painting. A single image can be composed of several continuous episodes, in this case, four episodes.
4. The prince is riding on his horse soaring along with a procession of deities. 1. Domestic life in the palace, the prince’s wife lying along with her baby and a group of sleeping musician-girls. 3. The prince’s attendant is preparing the prince’s horse for a journey 2. The prince coming into the palace, looking at life in the palace reflected by the first group of people. Prince Siddhartha
Nagaras(dragons) placed on top of all the palace poles signify the status of the owner, the prince. Lai Krachang ruan (swaying pattern) was drawn on the palace wall next to the gate at the bottom-left lai kranok pleao surrounding the prince and the procession Prince Siddhartha Lai thai in this work
This illustration shows distinctive postures and clothing. For example, the Prince’s wife is sleeping in a very polite position. Deities are drawn as if they were performing Thai traditional dance. Whereas, the common people, in this case musicians, are portrayed realistically (Lyons, 1990). They are sleeping in an inattentive and natural manner. This reflects the Thai way of life, in terms of hierarchy. In order to make Buddha a heavenly personage, one can see him soaring over the procession in which four deities carry the feet of the prince’s horse. Noticeably, all the figures have minimum clothing. This is suitable to the tropical Thai climate where the weather is very warm.