Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Legend of Benjarong - Hand Painted Thai China

Buddhism venerates tradition and respect for the past as well as the future. Therefore, alongside Buddhist teachings, the traditional skills and expertise used to create such intricate works of art were passed down through the generations. These skills are evident in the silverware, ceramics, carvings, silks and paintings that are available today. One such example is found in the geometrically decorated, hand painted bone china, Benjarong. Legend has it that this highly ornamented form of pottery was introduced to Thailand by a Chinese princess who married into the Thai Royal family sometime during China’s Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). Meaning ‘five colors’, Benjarong was traditionally painted in the five colors: red, white, green, yellow and blue. However, today Benjarong is decorated using a more elaborate palate, which also includes 18 carat gold.

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