PanSuriya Art Post

15 March : Art and Ideas : Narratives in Thai and Burmese Wall Paintings

Alexandra Green gave an illustrated talk exploring the Buddhist subject matter of Thai and Burmese wall paintings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A summary of the talk as written up in the Chiang Mai Mail newspaper is here.


The murals are largely composed of illustrations of the Jataka stories, the life of Gotama Buddha, the spiritual planes of the universe which address the concept of rebirth, celestial beings, mythical creatures, and Himavanta Forest. Delving into the layout of the wall paintings, the significance of the images is revealed. The imagery is more complex than immediately apparent. Strong links to popular beliefs emerge, even in the context of sacred stories.

You can read Dr Green’s research on paintings at Tilokaguru cave-temple in Sagaing online in the SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research here.

Her most recent book is Eclectic Collecting: Art from Burma in the Denison Museum.

temples in anein village

Alexandra Green is a curator in the Asia Department at the British Museum. Previously, she has been a research assistant professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong, where she worked on a book on Burmese murals and a project comparing Thai and Burmese wall paintings, and Dr. Green has been director and curator of Asian Art at the Denison Museum at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, USA. In addition to publishing articles on Burmese murals, she has edited two volumes on Burmese art, including “Burma: Art and Archaeology” for the British Museum Press and “Eclectic Collecting: Art from Burma in the Denison Museum”, published by Singapore University Press. Dr. Green’s Ph.D. is from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK.

As always, ten per cent of any art sales, and 20 per cent of any other sales will be donated to a local organisation, Cultural Canvas, to provide art experiences for the children of migrants in Chiang Mai.

For info:


ursula salad
20 February 2009, 04:14
Filed under: food | Tags: , ,

Today’s creation — a lot of fresh tomatoes, a little steamed squash, fresh herbs, onion and garlic shoots from my garden, and a few goji berries. Dressing: olive oil, lime juice, shredded ginger, and a secret ingredient. When salad has been tossed, empty a passionfruit into it. Have it for 65 baht at Suriya Gallery. Add a piece of olive oil-marinated feta cheese for 30 baht.

coming Art and Ideas talks


Three people are preparing Art and Ideas talks for the next months. On Sunday 15 March, Alexandra Green will talk about Burmese and Lanna temple paintings (talk description coming soon). You can read up on Pagan at this site:

We will then have another talk toward the art side of art and ideas: Jacqueline Suter will speak about buried social commentary in modern Burmese art. Back in the ideas direction, Bryce Beemer will talk about Siamese war captives in Burman capitals. That will take us up to Songkran, and perhaps beyond. When possible, talks will take place on Sunday evenings.

Boat race

Boat race

A few writers have also agreed (or half agreed) to give talks, but their dates are yet uncertain.
Thanks to 72Studio, Chiang Mai for image processing.

Nance–style smoothies: do not try this at home
9 February 2009, 05:26
Filed under: food | Tags:

First of all, thanks to Steve for loaning me his excellent blender. So, once I could get the the market, what did I do with it? Pineapple – papaya – strawberry – peppermint smoothie with a little lime, made with bael fruit – chrysanthemum tea, plus two secret ingredients. One ice cube per glass. Almost too thick to drink.

Steve, come over and collect your smoothies!

Art and Ideas: That what shall not be named
8 February 2009, 20:41
Filed under: art and ideas

Last night’s Art and Ideas night was much enjoyed by all thanks to Amporn’s efforts. I have recorded the talk and will check the sound quality. I will try to edit out the tour busses, and eventually will post it on this site.

The next evening (this Friday, 13 February, 6pm) will be a different style — the presenter is a history teacher who was working in Pakistan during the Danish cartoons matter; now he is in Yangon. He will talk about:


A history teacher who has taught at high schools in both Pakistan and Burma, will lead a discussion around the subject of personal and political freedom in each of these countries.

The discussion will be introduced through Robert’s personal observations and experiences, through photographs taken in both countries, and through through his understanding of the history of each of these fairly new countries. Among the topics considered will be politics, religion, and gender.

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I hope the discussion will broaden out to what cannot be named in certain societies or in our own countries, and what the effect of that is on a larger level.

Soe Naing exhibition at Pansodan
6 February 2009, 12:28
Filed under: exhibit | Tags: , ,

I’m afraid you might have missed Soe Naing’s show. Here’s a sample of his new series. Also, follow this link to see the announcement of his 2008 show in Kuala Lumpur.

Art and Ideas: Amporn Jirattikorn on Shan migrants
6 February 2009, 10:11
Filed under: art and ideas | Tags: , ,

Dr Amporn Jirattikorn will draw on her interesting research on the world of Shan migrants in Thailand to discuss the shifting perception of Shans in Thailand. They are seen at times as ethnic brothers who deserve support and sympathy, and as aliens who are grudgingly tolerated and put to use.

This will be related to the experiences of Shan prisoners in a Chiang Mai prison. These long-term prisoners create a national experience among themselves through radio, media, music, and literature, with a tenuous link to the outside world. An informal presentation will be followed by discussion. Ten per cent of any art sales, and 20 per cent of any other sales will be donated to a local organisation, Cultural Canvas, to provide art experiences for the children of migrants in Chiang Mai. Or choose to donate to a fund to provide medical care to people crossing the border for medical care. See for one case. at