Christ on the Road to Bangkok

Event time: 
Thursday, October 2, 2003 - 8:00am
Event description: 

A Reception for the exhibition and the artist Sawai Chinnawong

The reception for Sawai Chinnawong involved a live performace of Thai art, by a troupe from New York.

The performance occurred in three parts:

Part 1 Instrumental Music: A showcase of 3 different music instruments, which are Kim, Khlui, and Ranad Ek.

KIM: A beating string instrument that has been developed from its Chinese ancestor, the Chinese Kim. Its tuning system has been changed from pentatonic mode of five pitches to seven-pitched equidistant.

KHLUI: Probably the first wind instrument which the Thai devised themselves, although the shape of the instrument is very similar to that of the mulali of India. Thai khlui are played vertically like the Western oboe and clarinet.

RANAD EK: A percussion instrument which evolved from the grap. After musicians and instrument makers gained more knowledge and experience, improvements were made, and the grap were constructed in a series of sizes, and a support was devised to hold them in such a way as to allow the tone to sound freely.

Part 2 Thai classical dance, Khon

Thai Classical dance, Khon, comes from Ramayana story.
Khon performances are characterized by vigorous, highly formalized action. Acting and dancing are inseparable, each step having a definite meaning which is emphasized by precisely defined music to suggest walking, marching, laughing, etc. The ornate paper mache masks that many of the dancers wear are decorated with gold, lacquer, and paste jewels, and perfectly portray the protagonists’ personalities. The costumes are made of rich brocades adorned with sparkling costume jewelry and closely resemble the apparel of royalty and celestial beings in classical Thai mural paintings. Major characters are readily identifiable by the predominant colors of their costumes. Phra Ram, the hero, wears deep green, while his brother, Phra Lak, wears gold and the monkey-god Hanuman wears white.

Part 3 Bamboo Stick dance (Loa Kra Tob MAI)

The Bamboo Stick dance comes from central Thailand. The dancers each hold a bamboo stalk that ranges from 3 and half to 4 feet long, which is used to create a rhythmic beat. The dance is particularly popular among the youth of Thailand, as it often appears as though the dancers are fighting, jumping and shaking their bodies.