Monday, 15 July 2024

Baan Dam (Black House) : A Journey into the Artistic World of Thawan Duchanee in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Black House Museum: Discovering the Artistic Legacy of Thawan Duchanee in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Black House Museum: Discovering the Artistic Legacy of Thawan Duchanee in Chiang Rai, Thailand

During the Songkran Festival in 2566 (2023), I had the opportunity to visit the Black House or Baan Dam, a museum created by Mr. Thawan Duchanee in Chiang Rai province. I had been there once before, but it was in the evening, so I could only explore the front area, which was already quite beautiful. However, this time I intentionally arrived in the morning and was not disappointed as they were still open to tourists. I think during the Songkran festival, they might close temporarily.

ticket bann dam Black House Museum Chiang Rai

ticket bann dam Black House Museum Chiang Rai

There is an admission fee of 80 Baht per person to visit the Black House, which is used to maintain and repair the place because there are ongoing maintenance costs due to various factors such as earthquakes, floods, hot weather, termites, and insects.

During this visit, as it was during the Songkran festival, they had arranged to perform a water pouring ceremony Lanna culture called “Dam Hua” by Mr. Thawan Duchanee himself. It was set up after entering the premises, showcasing his works inside

arranged to perform a water pouring ceremony called Dam Hua

arranged to perform a water pouring ceremony called Dam Hua

About Mr. Thawan Duchanee:
He was born on September 27, 2482 (1939) and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honors) from Silpakorn University. He was a student of Prof. Silpa Bhirasri (the father of modern art in Thailand). He completed a Master’s degree in Mural Painting, Monuments, and Town Planning, and a Doctorate in Philosophy and Aesthetics at the Rijksakademie, the Netherlands.

Mr. Thawan Duchanee has created numerous artworks over a span of 50 years, both in Thailand and abroad. He was once commissioned by a European royal family to paint murals in Gottorf Castle, and he was given a blank check to fill in the amount he desired. The check still exists today and has not been cashed. Some of Mr. Thawan Duchanee’s paintings are highly valued, priced at 20-30 million Baht, sought after by art collectors and wealthy individuals. In Thailand, there is a famous art collector named Chalermchai Kosipipat who has collected hundreds of Thawan Duchanee’s works. Mr. Thawan Duchanee’s works are displayed in museums, both public and private, in various countries around the world. Additionally, he has contributed to the art scene by establishing the Thawan Duchanee Foundation, which supports education, particularly in the field of visual arts.

On December 14, 2544 (2001), the National Culture Commission honored Mr. Thawan Duchanee as a National Artist in the field of Visual Arts (Painting).

Thawan Duchanee art Chiang Rai attractions

Thawan Duchanee art Chiang Rai attractions

Black House Museum Thawan Duchanee Chiang Rai

Black House Museum Thawan Duchanee Chiang Rai

During the recent Songkran festival, I had the opportunity to experience a memorable trip here.

The Black House Museum, also known as Baan Dam, in Chiang Rai is a unique and fascinating attraction. The museum showcases the works of the renowned artist Thawan Duchanee. The entire complex is a collection of over 40 structures, each featuring dark and intricate designs.

Exploring the museum felt like stepping into a surreal world. The architecture, decor, and various art pieces were intriguing and thought-provoking. The contrasting black hues and the use of unconventional materials created a mysterious and captivating atmosphere.

Contemporary art in Chiang Rai

Contemporary art in Chiang Rai

Walking through the different buildings, I discovered a wide range of exhibits, including sculptures, paintings, animal remains, and intricate wood carvings. Each piece seemed to convey a deeper meaning, reflecting the artist’s unique perspective on life, death, and the human condition.

The surrounding gardens and landscapes added to the overall ambiance, providing a tranquil setting to contemplate the art and immerse oneself in the creativity of Thawan Duchanee.

Visiting the Black House Museum during Songkran was an exceptional experience. The festival added an extra layer of vibrancy and joy to the atmosphere, with locals and tourists celebrating and enjoying the cultural festivities together.

I highly recommend a visit to the Black House Museum in Chiang Rai for anyone seeking a distinctive and thought-provoking art experience. It’s a place that offers a glimpse into the mind of a remarkable artist and allows you to explore a world of dark beauty and artistic expression.

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