MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok

MOCA is the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok. It is located in 499 Kamphaengphet 6 Rd., Ladyao, Chatuchak. This museum is a special, serene place and definitely worth a visit if you are in Bangkok. The MOCA is supposed to provide a solid platform in building “Art Society” in Thailand thus encouraging newcomer in various branches of arts. This is the museum’s vision.

MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art

MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok*

At the MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok*

This museum was established by Mr. Boonchai Bencharongkul in honour of Prof. Silpa Bhirasri (Corrado Feroci) who is considered the ‘Father of Thai Contemporary Arts’. What is more, the MOCA is also supposed to appreciate the great favour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

An artist at work - preserving the essence of Thainess at MOCA*

An artist at work – preserving the essence of Thainess at MOCA*

The Italian-born Prof. Silpa Bhirasri (1892-1963) worked mainly in Thailand and was ground-breaking in establishing modern art in Thailand. In addition, he was instrumental in founding Silpakorn University. In accordance with Prof. Bhirasri’s vision, the MOCA wants to protect and maintain Thai art and culture in order to preseve the esscence of Thainess for future generations. In this way, the art collections should reflect the basis of Thai culture.

An artful sculpture of Ganesha (Phra Pikanet) a Hindu God in Thai culture*

An artful sculpture of Ganesha (Phra Pikanet) a Hindu God in Thai culture*

Hence, the museum’s mission is to give Thai people and foreigners the opportunity to admire and appreciate Thai art and artists. In particular, Thai people of the younger generation should be strengthened in their love for the uniqueness of Thai culture. Thus, they can learn a lot about the artists’ inspirations and methods of creation in the museum.

These sculptures remind me of Thai court dolls, preserving Thai culture*

These sculptures remind me of Thai court dolls, strengthening Thai people’s love for  Thai culture at the MOCA*

The MOCA has five sections displayed on five different floors. Hence, the 1st floor has two halls in which the works of Prof. Chalood Nimsamer and Paitun Muangsomboon are displayed respectively. Both are National Artists of Sculpture.

Unusual sculptures and works of art*

Unusual sculptures and works of art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok*

On the 2nd floor you find contemporary art of different themes and concepts such as social knowledge and Buddhism while on the 3rd floor there are creations displaying imagination in Thai contemporay art. For instance, there are works of the famous Thai National Artist Chakrabhand Posayakrit.

Displaying social knowledge and Buddhism in art, exhibition at MOCA*

Displaying social knowledge and Buddhism in art, exhibition at MOCA*

The 4th floor harbours works of one of my favourite Thai artists – Thawan Duchanee. He is also a famous and remarkable National Artist in Thailand and is considered a modern Buddhist artist. What is more, the highlights on this floor are three gigantic contemporary paintings called “The Three Kingdoms-Heaven, Middle Earth, and Hell” created by the artists Sompop Budtarad, Panya Wijinthanasan and Prateep Kochbua.

The works of Thawan Duchanee. modern Buddhist artist*

The works of Thawan Duchanee. modern Buddhist artist*

The Three Kingdoms-Heaven, Middle Earth, and Hell”*

The Three Kingdoms-Heaven, Middle Earth, and Hell at the MOCA*

Last but not least, the 5th floor is about international contemporary art and there are also paintings from the 19th century Romantic period of Queen Victoria.

International art at the MOCA*

International and Thai art at the MOCA attracts many foreign visitors*

Finally, we may say that the MOCA – Museum of Contemporay Art in Bangkok is a remarkable place created to preserve the display the essence of Thainess, Thai culture and art. Fore more information, I recommend you check out the museum’s website.

Yours, Sirinya

*all photos in this post, credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66




The ‘Joe Louis’ Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre

The Joe Louis Puppet Theatre was founded in 1985 by the famous Thai puppeteer Sakorn Yang-keawsot (1922-2007). His nickname was ‘Joe Louis’ and he was acknowledged as National Artist for performing arts in 1996. Hence, he falls into the same category as Thai National Artist and painter Chakrabhand Posayakrit who also created Thai puppets and Dioramas.

Today, The Joe Louis Theatre is situated on the banks of the Chaopraya River at Asiatique the Riverfront in Bangkok.

Sakorn Yang-kaewsot (photo credit: our-thailand-vacations.com)

Sakorn Yang-kaewsot with Hanuman-Puppet (photo credit: our-thailand-vacations.com)

The marionettes of the Joe Louis theatre are modelled on the characters of the Thai Ramakien which is the epic story of Rama. Hence, the traditional Thai puppet theatre resembles Khon performances and the stories are thus similar too. What is more, like the Khon masked dance, Thai puppet theatre was originally only performed at the royal court until the 20th century.

The Joe Louis Puppet Theatre

Joe Louis Puppet Theatre (tourisminasean2014.com)

Scene from the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre (photo credit: tourisminasean2014.com)

Sakorn Yang-keawsot came into contact with the Thai masked drama early in his life because his parents were Khon performers and puppeteers. They were in Krae Suppavanich’s troup where Sakorn also started his career as a puppeteer and a comedian in Thai folk operas which are known as ‘likay’. However, Sakorn, or Joe Louis as he was nicknamed after the American heavyweight boxer, developed his own style of Thai puppets.

He preferred the hun lakorn lek marionettes to the larger hun luang, royal puppets. The main reason for this was that the smaller dolls were easier to handle and thus more lifelike and realistic in their mobility. However, there are mostly three people needed to control the movements of a hun lakorn lek. Here is a short video clip to show you how such a marionette is operated with the help of several persons.

The puppets are commonly made from “chewed paper” (papier-mâché), light wood and fabric. They are also full-bodied, i.e. they have limbs, a torso and heads. The individual parts of the dolls such as the fingers can also be moved by pulling on respective strings. This kind of traditional puppet theatre is always accompanied by a classic Thai music orchestra similar to that of Khon performances. The orchestra is called ‘piphat’.

The following clip shows you very nicely how the puppeteers move the fingers of the dolls. I think this makes the show very elaborate.

Joe Louis’ greatest success was winning the highest award of ‘Best Traditional Performances’ in puppetry at the World Festival of Puppet Art in 2008. On this occasion, the troup performed ‘the Birth of Ganesha’ who is the Hindu god of arts, success and divine powers. The show also tells of Ganesha’s efforts to maintain peace on earth.


Since Sakorn’s death in 2007, his children and grandchildren have been in charge of the performances. Their aim is to constantly improve the puppet shows so that they become even more refined and detailed and therefore extra enjoyable. Hence, they increasingly use spectacular effects to enhance the show.

Puppeteers & Puppets (photo credit: wikalenda.com)

Puppeteers & Puppets (photo credit: wikalenda.com)

In a nutshell, we may say that the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre is truly elaborate, amazing and stunning. The marionettes dance gracefully and there is much attention paid to details concerning their costumes and scenography.

Have you been to this kind of puppet show?

Yours, Sirinya




Traditional Thai Beauty Secrets

Thai women have often been admired for their flawless and unique beauty. They have been envied for their long silky hair, radiant glowy skin and perfect nails. The secret to Thai women’s beauty probably lies in their genes. However, there are also some traditional Thai beauty recipes that come from nature. Thus, I’d like to introduce a few different elements of traditional Thai beauty secrets. This category of Thai beauty secrets concerns special foods and nutrients.

Thai beauty secrets, painting by Chakrabhand Posayakrit

Thai beauty secrets, painting by Chakrabhand Posayakrit (photo credit: chakrabhand.org)

Beauty Secrets

1. Coconut oil

Thai food and also traditional Thai beauty products often contain coconut oil which is one of the best natural oils. Coconut oil has numerous health benefits. Thus, it is great for all parts of the body.  Organic extra virgin Coconut oil has many properties and thus it is a multipurpose product for face, body and hair. For example, coconut oil can be used as a make up remover, in particular for removing eye make up. It is very gentle to the skin and thus suitable for dry and sensitive skin types. That is to say coconut oil is very nourishing to the gentle eye area and also strengthens the eyelashes. Hence, it can also function as an eye cream.

Coconut everbeautiful.com

Coconut (photo credit: everbeautiful.com)

Coconut oil is also good as a facial cleanser. This is also known as the oil cleansing method.

It is also useful as a hair conditioner and mask because it has the ability to fully penetrate the hair shaft and thus moisturize the hair thoroughly. It works best as a pre-shampoo conditioner. Distribute the coconut oil evenly throughout your hair and leave it in for about an hour then shampoo your hair and you will have the smoothest hair ever 🙂

In addition, coconut oil can also perform as a natural deodorant because it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Coconut oil as body scrub, mix equal parts of coconut oil with brown organic sugar. Scrub away and this will leave your skin sooo soft 🙂

Facial and body moisturizer: it makes your skin amazing and glowing and does not cloak the pores. In addition, coconut oil also has a natural sunscreen (SPF 4).

2. Tamarind

Tamarind can be considered a Thai (beauty) ingredient because it is frequently used in all kinds of Thai recipes. Tamarind has great health and beauty benefits because it is very rich in vitamin and minerals. Since tamarind contains Alpha-hydroxyl acids (AHAs), it provides for a glowing and radiant skin. What is more, it also diminishes blemishes and dark spots. Hence, tamarind is often used by Thai women because it also brightens and lightens the skin 🙂

Fresh Tamarind with leaves (photo credit: indianbeauty.tips)

Fresh Tamarind with leaves (photo credit: indianbeauty.tips)

In fact, Tamarind is a wonderful beauty product. It’s most effectively used as a pure organic paste. Thus, it can be used as a facial cleanser and scrub to exfoliate the skin. Here is a very easy recipe of tamarind cleanser: mix honey and tamarind paste in equal parts and add three tablespoons of yoghurt. Then apply this mixture gently all over your face, avoiding the delicate eye area. After 10 minutes wash it off. Thus, it’s a perfect treatment for removing dead skin cells and increasing blood circulation.

3. Papaya

Papaya is an amazing beauty agent and has wonderful beauty benefits since it contains the miracle papain enzyme. Hence, a facial or body mask of papaya gives the skin a healthy and radiant glow. This is because the papain enzyme works as an exfoliator thus removing all dead skin cells. Make an easy face and body mask by mashing the papaya fruit pulp into a paste. Apply this to your face and body, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then rinse and shower everything off.

Papaya (photo credit: dreamatico.com)

Papaya (photo credit: dreamatico.com)

4. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a very common ingredient in Thai dishes. However, Thai women appreciate lemongrass also for its beauty benefits because it has detoxifying and exfoliating properties. Lemongrass is most commonly used for facial steams since it suits all skin types

Lemon Grass tekoafarms.co.il

Lemon Grass (photo credit: tekoafarms.co.il)

Here is an easy recipe how to make a lemongrass face steam: take a pot of boiling water and put in about 40 g of fresh finely chopped lemongrass. Let the mixture stand for about half an hour and then strain it. After that, inhale the steam for about 1 minute and let your skin absorb it too. Repeat it some more times until you have a lovely sauna effect. Thus, the steam cleanses and opens up your pores so that dirt and excess oils are removed.

Maybe you’d like to give these traditional natural Thai beauty secrets a try? I think it’s really worth trying 🙂

In fact, traditional Thai beauty has also been a great subject in the Visual Arts and painting. For instance, the Thai National Artist Chakrabhand Posayakrit very often portrayed beautiful and flawless Thai women.

If you are interested, I can do a second part on traditional Thai beauty secrets, focussing on Thai beauty habits and rituals such as Thai massage, for example.

Yours, Sirinya




Sirinya Ann’s Atelier: Art & Crafts

Maybe you’ve already noticed that I have a small handicraft shop here called ‘Sirinya Ann’s Atelier’. I’ve started this shop at DaWanda about two years ago and have added some articles from time to time since then. Everything you find in this store is handcrafted by myself 🙂

For instance, here are some of my handcrafted items:

Sirinya Ann's Atelier: collar necklace with Thai fabric

Sirinya Ann’s Art Atelier: collar necklace with Thai fabric

Clutch decorated with Thai fabric, Sirinya Ann's Atelier

Clutch decorated with Thai fabric, Sirinya Ann’s Atelier

Collar necklace with Thai brocade Sirinya Ann's Atelier

Collar necklace with Thai brocade Sirinya Ann’s Atelier

Hair barrette made from Thai brocade, Sirinya Ann's Atelier

Hair barrette made from Thai brocade, Sirinya Ann’s Atelier

Sirinya Ann’s Atelier

In my shop you find extravagant and extraordinary accessories, hair accessories, fascinators and jewellery made from Thai fabic, silk, brocade, satin, pearls, rhinestones or other similar materials. The fabrics are chosen with care and most of them I bring with me from my travels to Thailand. Sometimes opulent or sometimes subtle, my products have an extraorinary exotic touch.
From time to time, I also offer Vintage articles in my shop.

You see, I very much enjoy crafting accessories and jewellery with traditional Thai fabric simply because the material is so special and extraordinary.

Hairband with Thai brocade appliques

Hairband with Thai brocade appliques

collar necklace made from Thai fabric, brocade from Sirinya Ann's Atelier

Collar necklace made from Thai fabric, brocade from Sirinya Ann’s Atelier

Recently, I’ve also tried to do some decoupage art using copies of Chakrabhand Posayakrit’s marvellous paintings. In my tribute to this Thai artist, I’ve already shown you some of my decoupage art.

Decoupage art with image by Chakrabhand Posayakrit, Sirinya Ann's Atelier

Decoupage art with image by Chakrabhand Posayakrit

Decoupage art with image by Chakrabhand Posayakrit

Decoupage art with Buddha image by Chakrabhand Posayakrit

At the moment I have discontinued my shop but if there is any interest, please let me know in the comments and I will reopen Sirinya Ann’s Atelier at DaWanda or Etsy 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




A tribute to Chakrabhand Posayakrit

“I like to listen to Thai music, see Khon (traditional Thai masked dance) and Lakorn (Thai dance-theatre) and read old literature.”

posayakritThe artist at work

Chakrabhand Posayakrit was born 1943 in Bangkok and can be regarded as one of the most famous and popular national artists of Thailand. In 2000, for instance, he received the title “ National Artist in Visual Arts (Painting)“.

Hence, if you search the internet for Thai art and painting, you will defintely come across this Thai National Artist’s works. In the early period of his works, he painted realistic images of people in order to express their character adequately.

Chakrabhand Posayakrit

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However, in his later works, however, the artist uses more imagination and idealizes his paintings, he also creates Thai puppets and paints scenes from classical Thai literature. In addition, he is also famous for his paintings of Buddha.

Chakrabhand Posayakrit: Paining of a Thai Puppet

Chakrabhand Posayakrit: Paining of a Thai Puppet

 

aaae4f748ebacd9b6f1876d0b879a293A scene from classical Thai literature 10110096Image of the reclining Buddha

3db2a1c7ad3abf6b1a25118cfd4ec6e2Painting of the enlightened Buddha

Indeed, this Thai National Artist’s paintings reveals a great interest in traditional Thai art and displays its beauty.

His work range is wide and not only incorporates paintings and drawings but also design, decorative art, puppetry and literary works which he published with the pseudonym “Sasivimol“.

I very much adore his Dioramas from Thai literature and wish I could have one myself 🙂

decorative art posayakrit

In a nutshell, I am very much impressed by Chakrabhand Posayakrit’s art works and since this kind of art is not available over here in Germany, I deceided to make a photo wall with his paintings for myself.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100My picture wall

In addition, I felt free to incorporate some of the artist’s paintings in my decoupage art works.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100This is the dance of the kinnari (The Shan Kinnari and Kinnara dance) which is the Thai Yai (Shan) bird dance. Love this picture! By the way, the Kinnari is a mythical being, half-swan and half-dancer.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100  VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100 VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100 Here are some examples of my decoupage art using Posayakrit’s paintings

If you want to learn more about this artist and painter, I suggest you check out his homepage.

The pictures on this page also come from this site.

You may also like to check out the following book ‘The Arts of Thailand’ by Steve van Beek, there you also find information about Chakrabhand Posayakrit.

Hope you enjoy reading and admiring these awesome pictures!

Yours, Sirinya