Filling the Gap: Investigating ‘Uthong’ Art and its Archaeological Evidence in the Transitional Period of Thailand | A Talk by Pipad Krajaejun
In 1928, the term ‘Uthong’ art was coined for a group of Buddha images which were assumed to have been created in the pre- to early Ayutthaya periods in the reign of King Uthong. This term can be used to refer to both a school of art and a historical period discovered in the Chao Phraya River Basin. However, the term has been debated by modern scholars that it was created under political and nationalistic circumstances. This talk, which is part of Pipad’s PhD research, Deconstructing the Historical Metanarrative of Thai Art and Archaeology: The Emergence of Artistic Styles in the Pre-Ayutthaya Period, or ‘Uthong Art,’ during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, aims to 1) critique the problem of Thai art and archaeological periodization, using Uthong art as a case study; 2) revise and reclassify bronze Uthong Buddha images and monuments, using scientific dating methods; 3) understand the state polity between the thirteenth and early fifteenth centuries, using archaeological survey data and scientific dating from Uthong art; 4) investigate the existence of the archaeological layer of a transitional period from excavations at Ayutthaya, Sanburi (Chainat) and Lopburi Provinces.
About the speaker
Assistant Professor Pipad Krajaejun, PhD candidate, SOAS, University of London, is a lecturer in history at Thammasat University. His research focuses on archaeological evidence and ‘Uthong art’ in the 13th and 14th centuries or ‘Dark age’ in central Thailand in order to understand the history, cultural and religious changes in that time. He is particularly interested in ancient history and archaeology.
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