A Benjarong Bonanza: Grade 10 Fieldtrip to Buran Benjarong

On May 3rd, the Grade 10’s went on a field trip to the Buran Benjarong Benjarong Porcelain factory. It was a meaningful experience for both Thais and non-Thais as it was a chance for us to explore Thai culture and history in a unique art form.

A quick introduction to Benjarong before we get into what exactly CO’19 did. Benjarong is a type of design used on Thai porcelain. Its origins can be traced from the Ming Dynasty in China. However, Thai patterns (such as the flowers, the flames, depictions of festivals and celebrations) were adapted to the porcelains giving them the look that we now know of today. “Benjarong” in itself means “five colors”, representing the colors that are used on the designs. The designs are mostly geometric and symmetrical and were used for only the Royal Thai monarchs when it first came about. Today, however, the late King Rama IX permitted Benjarong styled porcelains to be accessible to everyone.

The unit this term for Grade 10 Thai Studies was the history and the design of the Benjarong. Students were required to research facts about the history of the  Benjarong, and come up with their very own design, which they would apply during this field trip to Buran Benjarong. The day started off with a tour around the factory, in which students saw the process of how the Benjarong was painted and created. Later on, it was their turn to design their own plates, and with the help of those who worked at the factory, brought their designs to life.

Liquified gold pens were a luxury, and they represented what this field trip felt like: dazzling. Much knowledge was gained about Thai culture which was showcased through intricate patterns, and about Thai way of life showcased by artisan craftsmanship demonstrated by those who worked at the factory. It was quite the experience to see patterns come to life, and it was an honor to take part in preserving an integral part of Thai art. 

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