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The Spirit of Budo comes to Chiang Mai

The Spirit of Budo explores the history of the martial arts in Japan from battlefield technique to international sport. The first half of the exhibition is a display of reproductions of historical weapons and implements, such as sword mountings, bows, arrows, helmets, and suits of armor. The original artifacts are preserved in museums and castles, and what you see in the exhibition are reproductions that were faithfully crafted using traditional techniques.

Armor of o-yoroi type with a helmet of the hoshi-kabuto type

The warriors of this period endured strenuous physical training with special emphasis on spiritual growth. This spiritual approach to battle resulted in a close relationship with a wide range of arts, such as poetry, visual arts, and crafts.

There are eight superbly designed helmets in this collection from the Warring States period (1467- 1568)—an age of nationwide incessant violence—that are presented in their original splendor as they appeared at the time of their creation. Although elaborately designed, the originals were actually worn in battle by renowned warlords such as Nagamasa Kuroda (1568-1623) and Yukimura Sanada(1567-1615). Highly individual and unique, these helmets reflect the warriors’ ambition and will-power achieved through their training in martial arts.

Twice in its modern history, the Japanese martial arts confronted a crisis of survival. The first was marked by the end of feudalism and the beginning of modernization in the Meiji period (mid-19th century). The second was during the post-WWII democratization of education. In response to societal changes, Bujutsu (the techniques for fighting) was transfigured by educators and practitioners into Budo (the philosophy of bravery) in which the physical practices aim to achieve a higher level of spiritual control of self.

The second half of the exhibition focuses on the contemporary practice of the martial arts. Away from the war zone, the equipment and clothing were developed to prevent injury during training. Bamboo swords, protectors, gloves, and Hakama pants are on display, along with descriptive panels and a DVD presentation of practice scenes.

At the Chiang Mai National Museum from 10 – 30 August 2012, the Opening Ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on 9 August. Exhibit hours from 9:00 am. – 4:00 p.m. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. (053) 221-308. www.nationalmuseums.finearts .go.th/thaimuseum_eng/chiangmai/maplocation .htm. Admission is Free.
 


Too Scary To Hang

Artist Sinfaii Chaiyasith stands in front of her series of animations that chronicle her slide into depression.

By Shana Kongmun
A courageous exhibition by artist Sinfaii Chaiyasith opened at Sangdee Gallery on Friday, July 13. Fai’s work chronicles her journey through depression. An animation artist from Bangkok now resident in Chiang Mai, Fai started treatment for depression 6 months before and the images she created were done at times of great sadness and fear as she learned to manage and overcome her depression.

The largest work is a series of animations made as she slipped into depression and end at her deepest moment, chronicling her slide with clarity. Many of her pieces are not as dark as one would think while others make you stop and reconsider what they mean and where in Fai’s journey back they were created.

A beautiful young woman as lovely of heart as she is of face, many would think she has it all, but this exhibition shows that depression can affect anyone and gives those of us who have never felt its crushing weight a glimpse into that world.

Fai’s exhibit can be seen and purchased at Sangdee Gallery, Sirimangkalajarn soi 5 evenings from 5 p.m.

Fai’s paintings are all brilliant with color and are glimpse into her life.

Fai explains her paintings to a friend.

The artist with her parents.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

The Spirit of Budo comes to Chiang Mai

Too Scary To Hang