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Consider the lofty chada

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The Thonglor Art Space’s inaugural event of 2018 will be “Coronets”, Nakrob Moonmanas’s first exhibition of installation art, from February 1 to 20.

On February 10, Sareena Sattapon will perform at the venue as a part of Galleries Night 2018.
Nakrob is best known for collage illustration, but in “Coronets”, he goes 3D with a study of the classical Siamese chada headdress. 
He finds in the chada the embodiment of power and fantasy and explores its physical and abstract elements. These include its extensive height, elaborate gold decoration and sheer weight on the wearer’s head.
Nakrob invites viewers to interpret the chada as a highart head ornament frozen in time and as a contemporary art object on display, free from its context of royalty and dance. Once adorned with solid gold, the typical chada today is fashioned in papier-mache decorated with gold paint and mirrors. Its inherent value greatly reduced, the chada is now found in commercial performances, as a film prop, and in the Ram Kae Bon ceremonial dance.
A veteran maker of chadas was recruited to create the one featured in Nakrob’s installation, giving it intentional distortion. Likewise, the uba flower that traditionally decorates the wearer’s ear has been transformed into long lines of flowers, curled up on five spots on the exhibition floor, signifying the five spots where the body touches the floor when one performs a benjankrapraditha graab. 
This is intended to provoke questions about how Thai culture systematically conditions people into submission. Will viewers, unaware that the exhibited chada has not been blessed by a dance master, be offended by it, perceiving it as blasphemous treatment of spiritual object? Or will it give them the chance to consider it from historical and contemporary angles?
Find out more at (085) 910 3680 or (086) 884 6254.
 

Published : January 05, 2018

By : THE NATION