Man creates sculptures of late King's dogs

Man creates sculptures of late King's dogs

The statues of Khun Jocho, with a smoking pipe in his mouth, and Khun Tongdaeng, the late King's favourite, at the royal crematorium. Photo: Pichaya Svast
The statues of Khun Jocho, with a smoking pipe in his mouth, and Khun Tongdaeng, the late King's favourite, at the royal crematorium. Photo: Pichaya Svast

A life-sized sculpture of King Bhumibol's favourite pet dog Khun Tongdaeng has been placed at the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang.

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This is an excerpt from a much longer story that you can read in full here: https://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/social-and-lifestyle/1339267/the-art-of-loyalty

Man creates sculptures of late King's dogs

PICHAYA SVASTI

For almost 20 years, Khun Tongdaeng, the monarch's favourite pet dog, stayed beside King Bhumibol Adulyadej as friend and guard. Khun Tongdaeng died nearly a year before the king's passing on Oct 13 last year, but her love and loyalty is everlasting and is now reflected in her life-size sculpture, which has been placed at the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang.

The sculpture is the work of Chin Prasong, who had created the bronze sculptures of Khun Tongdaeng and other dogs for the king during 2010-2016. After King Bhumibol's passing, Chin was asked by the Fine Arts Department to mould the fibreglass statues of Khun Tongdaeng and the king's second pet dog, Khun Jocho.

Sculptor Chin Prasong working on the statue of Khun Tongdaeng. (Photo: Pitchapong Prasong)

The statue of Khun Tongdaeng is 86cm tall and placed on a 10cm-tall base. The statue of Khun Jocho, a Boxer, with a smoking pipe in his mouth as depicted in old photos, is 96cm tall and also installed on a 10cm-tall base.

"I am proud to serve King Bhumibol another time. It is an honour and blessing for me. I always think of his kindness. I went speechless when I was assigned this task; it is the ultimate honour.

Khun Jocho. Courtesy of Pitchapong Prasong.

Tongdaeng, a female dog, was born a stray on Nov 7, 1998, in the Medical Development Clinic Alley, Rama IX. She was later adopted on Dec 13 the same year by King Bhumibol, who presided over the opening of the clinic.

Tongdaeng was clever, well-mannered and loyal to the king until the last day of her life. She died at the age of 17 years, one month and nine days at Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin district, Prachuap Khiri Khan, on Dec 26, 2015.

It took three months for Chin to complete the statue of Khun Tongdaeng and a month for the statue of Khun Jocho. He had proposed four styles – standing, sitting, sitting and lifting two front feet and lying down – and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn chose the sitting pose.

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Vocabulary

  • adopt (verb): to take somebody else’s child, animal, etc. into your family - รับเลี้ยง
  • alley (noun): a narrow road or path between buildings, or a path in a park or garden, especially with trees or bushes on both sides - ตรอก, ซอย, ซอกซอย
  • assign: to give someone a job to do - มอบหมาย, สั่งงาน
  • base: the bottom part, edge, or surface of something - พื้นฐาน, รากฐาน
  • blessing: something that is good or helpful - สิ่งทำให้โชคดีหรือมีความสุข
  • bronze: a dark reddish-brown metal made by mixing copper and tin - ทองสัมฤทธ์, ทองแดง
  • clever: quick at learning and understanding things - เฉลียวฉลาด
  • create: to make something new - สร้าง, แต่งขึ้น
  • crematorium: the place where a cremation takes place - เมรุ
  • depict: to represent or show something in a picture or story - พรรณนา, บรรยายให้เห็นภาพ
  • development: the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา
  • everlasting (adj): continuing for ever; never changing - ตลอดกาล
  • favourite (adj): something/someone you like the best of all similar things - ที่ชอบมากที่สุด, ที่โปรดปราน, ของโปรด
  • female: of the sex that can lay eggs or give birth to babies, being a woman or a girl - เพศหญิง, ผู้หญิง, ตัวเมีย
  • fibreglass (noun): a strong light material made from glass fibres and plastic, used for making boats, etc. - ไฟเบอร์กลาส
  • Fine Arts Department (noun): a department of the Ministry of Culture in charge of preserving traditional Thai arts - กรมศิลปากร
  • guard: a person who protects a place or people - ยาม, ผู้ดูแล, ยามรักษาการณ์
  • honour: something you do that you are proud of; the respect that people have for someone who achieves something great, is very powerful, or behaves in a way that is morally right - เกียรติยศ, เกียรติ
  • late: dead - ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
  • life-size (adj): the same size as a person or thing really is - ที่มีขนาดเท่าตัวจริง
  • loyalty: support that you always give to someone or something because of your feelings of duty and love towards them - ความจงรักภักดี
  • medical: connected with illness and injury and their treatment - ทางการแพทย์, ด้านการแพทย์, เกี่ยวกับการแพทย์
  • monarch: a king or queen - กษัตริย์ หรือราชินี
  • mould: to give something a particular shape or form - ปั้น
  • palace: the official home of a king, queen, president, etc, a large impressive house - พระราชวัง, ตำหนัก, ปราสาท
  • passing (noun): death - การจากไป (ตาย), การมรณภาพ, การเสียชีวิต,
  • pose (noun): a particular position in which somebody stands, sits, etc., especially in order to be painted, drawn or photographed - ท่าทาง
  • preside over: to lead or be in charge of - รับผิดชอบ
  • proposed: suggested as an idea for a group to consider - ถูกเสนอ
  • reflect: to show - สะท้อน แสดงถึง
  • sculptor: an artist who makes sculptures - ช่างแกะสลัก
  • sculpture: an object made by forming material such as wood, clay, metal or stone into solid objects that represent a thing, person, idea, etc. - รูปสลัก, รูปปั้น, รูปหล่อ
  • speechless: not able to speak, especially because you are extremely angry or surprised - ไม่สามารถพูดได้
  • statue: a human or animal image that is made of stone, wood, metal, etc. - รูปปั้น
  • stray: a pet that has no owner or that is lost or has left its home - สัตว์ที่ไม่มีเจ้าของ, สัตว์ที่หลงทาง
  • task: something that you have to do - หน้าที่
  • ultimate: most extreme; best, worst, greatest, most important, etc - ที่สุด
  • well-mannered: having good manners; behaving politely and appropriately - ซึ่งมีกิริยามารยาทดี
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