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Video art: Narratives of Thai Song Dam ethnic group in Nakhon Pathom Province

Nopparat Kumpa, Kamol Phaosavasdi, Pornprapit Phaosavasdi


The objectives of this research were to: 1) study contexts and values of cloth patterns and cultural objects relating to rituals of Thai Song Dam ethnic group in Nakhon Pathom; 2) study and analyze cultural data, and apply the results to video art creation that supported imagination and value realization of Thai Song Dam; and 3) create a video art inspired by culture of Thai Song Dam in Nakhon Pathom. Qualitative research methods were employed to collect fieldwork data at Ban Phai Hu Chang, Ban Phai Hu Chang Sub-district, Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom Province, in order to understand way of life and cultural context of the community both past and present. The findings showed that Thai Song Dam ethic strongly believed in Phya Thaen and ancestors’ spirits worship. They believed in life after death, therefore they conducted rituals after death by using cloth pattern and cultural objects to send the dead spirits to Mueang Thaen. Interpretativism theory was applied to understand thinking system that expressed in the form of cultural symbols and rituals. Moreover, semiology was used to find signs in cultural objects and rituals after death, i.e. cloth flags, birds, wooden model house, etc. These objects were built based on the profound belief in sending the spirits to Mueang Thaen. Imagination theory was employed to develop a creative work. The 10-minute video art composed of 3 parts: fear, hope, and happiness. It presented the dead’s worry about failure to return to Mueang Thaen and overlap state of past, present, and future. The design was in fantasy state of spirits which enhanced the audience’s imagination, so that they realized culture preservation of the ethnic group through rituals after death of Thai Song Dam.


cloth pattern; culture object; ethnic group; Thai Song Dam; video art

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