Of Art and Elephants

Of Art and Elephants


Thursday of orientation week was highly anticipated and it did everything but disappoint.  We started off by visiting San Kamphaeng Road to receive a tutorial in the art of umbrella painting at Bo Sang Handicraft Center.  One hundred years ago the monk Phra lnthaa brought an umbrella he had received as a merit offering up north to the village of Bo Sang.  Umbrellas were not present in the region and the monk, after observing how useful they were in both rain and sun, set up production which eventually turned into a thriving industry in the village.  Sa paper and oil paints mixed with Mameu oil of different colors are used to produce the brilliant products that we observed in the center.  I was too engrossed in trying (and failing and also thoroughly enjoying myself) to replicate our instructor’s efforts to get any photos beyond this.

Following our morning lesson we headed over to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center to meet some Elephas maximus.  The Center is the only one in Thailand where the elephants are owned by the government/royal family.  Learn more at: http://www.thailandelephant.org/en/.  There are over 50 animals in residence and they are treated majestically (and deservedly so).  We were able to catch a soccer match and see some additional painting demonstrations (which also put me to shame).  The elephants at this camp have their own gallery where you can see self portraits, paintings of the king and some stunning perspective work.  Their compassion, playfulness, intellect and memory make these some of the grandest animals on the planet.  No bias here, really.

Elephant wai

Sugarcane noms

Sass attack


Resident artist


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