Much of the Metal Art you see in Thailand is created utilizing scrap metal. That can be anything from discarded car and motorcycle engine parts to bicycle chains and other body parts. There are also other bits and pieces thrown into the mix too. They can be viewed in various formats from Japanese samurai warriors to Frankenstein imitations to giant dinosaurs and more.
This particular market was something which I discovered when I first arrived in Thailand during one of my many travels around the world. I could not resist the temptation to purchase some of these unique art pieces. So I stopped, shopped and exported a whole container of these monster metal artworks back home.
I was led to believe that if you are going to do all the wonderful things only your heart desires, then you may as well go big and that’s exactly what I did.
I can hardly move around the house now without getting the feeling of living a little larger than life in an art gallery or perhaps more appropriately, a museum. If you had the privilege of seeing the movie Night at the Museum with that funnyman Ben Stiller, then you should know exactly what I am talking about.
Since having had copious time to recover from the huge impact that unknowingly overwhelmed me on one of my walkabouts in Bangkok, I soon came to realise that these rather bizarre but nevertheless awesome artworks had taken over my entire house including the kitchen. And if that wasn’t enough, I also returned home with a number of oil paintings to add to my art collection.
I soon began to feel as though I had way too much baggage. So much so that I have since donated most of the artworks to art galleries in my neighbourhood. You see, my real passion is to travel so after much deliberation, especially when the metal-works started giving me some eerie looks, I decided to redirect my artistic talent to that of writing. More specifically travel writing. Hopefully, this will allow more time to travel in the future. Any donation will gladly be appreciated and accepted.
The intricate detail seen in the photos of the Japanese Samurai, Dinosaur and Frankenstein were created using scrap metals from mostly used car engine and motorbike parts. All these masterpieces came to light during a tedious process of welding all sorts of bits and pieces together, including flywheels, pistons, springs, spark plugs, motorbike chains, car brake pads as well as an assortment of nuts and bolts.
Now the sheer size and colossal weight of these particular metal art pieces may appear to some to be fairly daunting but they did, however, arrive in part form. Though looking very much like mummy’s from some ancient Egyptian crypt, each structure was accompanied by a diagram making assembly much more simplified. The various pieces were kinda like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together.
Incidentally, inside the eye sockets of the two and a half metre Samurai are light bulbs which turn red with the clap of the hand. Power is supplied from a rechargeable battery inside his head. Other pieces I purchased included a voice-activated mummy whose eyes also light up. She came complete in a casket.
Thai artists in the metal industry have adopted a more modern approach to art, although you will actively find many craftsmen employing age-old methods in creating their handicrafts. I genuinely believe that many of the Thai artists that I have had the fortune to meet, have such amazing talent in many of these arts.
Much of the older traditional metal art that you see around Thailand is hand-crafted in solid bronze or silver. At many of the craft markets, you will observe Thai artists working away at various metal sculptures including a great deal of bronze and silver wall mounted objects, many of which you may purchase. It can be quite fascinating to observe.
I’d have to admit that I too have heaps more to learn about the ancient as well as the traditional Thai art scene, although I’m sure that when you are on holiday in Thailand, you’ll be amazed and intrigued with all the influence surrounding Thai culture with its reference to the arts.
There is just far too much to absorb when you are abroad so my aim is to keep it light and simple for you to understand. The rest you can gather up as and when you are in Thailand. Please feel free to ask me any questions relating to the arts. I shall endeavour to answer your questions as honestly as I possibly can.