On 15th June 2001, HM Queen Sirikit had been to the 29th Floor of Bangkok Bank Headquarter, Silom road, where the contest of "original painting models for embroidery works", organized by the philanthropic foundation for developing artistic professions under the patronage of the queen, was held. On this occasion, she also gave prices to the winner of the contest.
It was the queen's wish to found the foundation. She wishes to help poor people to be able to increase their income. A main artistic work that the queen supports is the ancient embroidery, which needs high skills, patience, and deep understanding in arts. It is our pride that, at this moment, the children of local farmers possess very high skill in exquisite embroidery.
The queen chooses the original models for embroidery, then give them to the persons who do embroidery for the foundation. Those persons, about 2000, mostly live in the south of Thailand. Some others live in other regions. The queen gave the embroidery works to the group of housewives in Naratiwas and Pattani whom previously earned only 5-10 Baht, on daily basis, by stripping nipa palm leaves to make cigarette.
When those skilled housewives become members of the foundation, the queen then give them financial support and original models for embroidery. Those housewives then earn more income. So they realize they have more self-value with better quality of life. The embroidery is in a ancient style and use only silk. A very small needle has to be used to work with silk, so this kind of embroidery is a very fine artwork, which takes several months to complete. The queen takes those works created by the members to be royal gifts for royal guests and when she visits the other countries.
However, there is a shortage of original models or there are only repeated models. The queen, therefore, wishes to support every generation of artists, especially the newly graduated artists who have high skill in drawing and painting. They are told to send their art works to the contest or to sell their work to the foundation. She has a strong wish to support Thai Art and Traditions. She often tells the stories of Thai literatures to the painters and embroiders in order to let them imagine about the story. Those artists then can create hundreds of beautiful paintings. She also tells the story Buddha, people life in each region, animals etc. Some people may have not known or heard about these stories before. For instance, the stories of elephants that people in the south seldom see them. Therefore, the painters and the embroiders can learn more about these stories.
The contest of "original painting models for embroidery works", on this occasion, emphasize on the Thai Arts with the trend of preservation, the succession, the development and creation. Those trends must be related to the history of Buddha, the Jataka (the stories of former incarnations of the Buddha), the Thai literature, the beautiful lady in Thai literature, Thai folks, Thai traditions, Thai performance, Thai geography, and Flowers in Thai environment
The size of the work must not be larger than 150 x 200 centimeters. The submission date was between 19-25 March 2001. The submission place was the musical center, Bangkok bank (Pan Fha Bridge branch).
The paintings submitted to the contest represent Thai intelligence and Thai life style. Artists, whose great skills have represented Thai uniquity, beautifully create all these artworks.
The winning painting of Thai life style will be a model for embroidery at the queen's foundation and used to develop the skills of Thai artists' work and be represented to people around the world.
One of the consolidation prize awardees is Mr Uthai Khunjit with the painting "House by the canal". This painting is already displayed in our website "Thaifolk".
Artist Uthai Khunjit, born on April 19th, 1940, graduated from Por Chang School (school of arts) in the major of painting. He now lives at 39/437 Sintanavillage Phase 3, moo 9, soi Amornwiwat, Nawamin road, Klong Kum subdistrict, Bung Kum district, Bangkok 10230.
The artist Uthia Khunjit is overwhelmed by the award he received. Especially when HM Queen Sirikit stopped by to watch his painting. She was pleased and said to Mr Uthia that the painting is really exquisite and nicely reflects Thai lifestyle.
The artist Uthai Khunjit is very keen of painting every Thai lifestyle. He has numerous artworks such as the restoration of the painting at the wall in the grand palace and the temple of the Emerald Buddha. He also painted the history of Buddha at the base of the main Buddha image in Wat Sima Prasit, Cha-uad district, Nakorn Sitamarat province. He drew on the paper mulberry at the Mulberry Fair held at the River City shopping Mall and Taniya Plaza shopping Mall.
Place where he created the Thai folk painting
Thai folk painting in progress
The inspiration of the painting "Houses by the Canal"
"The succession of Thai culture in traveling via rivers and canals, both in the past and present using boats as a mean of transportation. It represents Thai lifestyle, which prefer quiet and peaceful atmosphere nearby the canals"
The numerous paintings that represent "Thai ways of life" of Uthi Khunjit are available for viewing, both direct contact or displayed on our web site "Thaifolk"
Click here to see zoom pictures
The painting "Thaifolk". It is brought to the display although it did not win any prize.