Learn more about the Bunnag clan

Grandsons of Dit Bunnag, who was the father of Chuang Bunnag, in the mid 19th century. (Photo courtesy of siam society)

Siam Society is holding a talk on "Chariot Of The Sun", which will get participants to learn more about the House of Bunnag, a powerful noble family during the late Ayutthaya kingdom and early Rattanakosin period, today at 7pm.

It will be conducted by Shane Bunnag, a visual artist, filmmaker and writer who recently published his first book of the same title which touches on the nature of historical storytelling in Siam, following a family lineage through the ages from around 1570 until the present day.

The story describes the fate of a prominent branch of the Bunnag clan, the descendants of Chuang Bunnag, who was Regent of Siam during the reign of King Rama V.

Instead of a straightforward history, this work revels in the personal, anecdotal and mythological fashion. It is about the transmission of stories within a family, and the charms of this approach.

The speaker will introduce the story behind his book, Chariot Of The Sun, before going on to examine the place of memory, oral tradition and folklore within history. He intends to elaborate on various fables and ghost stories, for instance, to do with house building and sacred objects, while speculating about their possible meanings.

The talk is not intended as an academic tour, but more of a survey of select stories, viewed from an autobiographical vantage point.

Shane is of Thai and Irish ancestry and studied history at Edinburgh University. His video and photographic works are displayed in the collection of the Jim Thompson Art Centre and Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum.

He is also a National Geographic Explorer and a documentary filmmaker whose work has been broadcast internationally.

The fee is 200 baht (free for members and students). For booking, email pinthip@thesiamsociety.org or call 02-661-6470--3.

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