Culture Ministry lauds dozen performers and creators as national artists

Nantaporn Sarntigasem, penname Piyaporn Sakkasem

Twelve people have been named national artists by the Ministry of Culture for the year 2021.

Culture Minister Itthipol Kunplome announced the list on Wednesday.

Four artists were chosen in the visual art category: Wannee Chatchawantipakorn (photography), Thavorn Ko-Udomvit (printing), Ornsiri Panin (vernacular architecture) and Meechai Taesujariya (textiles).

Nantaporn Sarntigasem, penname Piyaporn Sakkasem, and Vitcha Lunachai, penname Prachakom Lunachai, got the nod in literature.

The category of performing arts includes Thummanit Nikomrat for the Nora dance; Kampan Nitiwornpaiboon (Korat folk song); Paitoon Kemkaeng (Khon masked dance); Narongrit Dhamabutra (international music), Sala Khunnawut (folk song); and Noppon Gomarachun (film and drama).

Mr Itthipol said each national artist will receive a monthly stipend of 25,000 baht.

Actor Noppon said that he would dedicate himself not only to his own craft but also to teaching younger thespians so they can continue in the performance arts. He added the award brings to mind his mother, Juree Ohsiri, also honoured with a national artist award in 1998.

Celebrated writer Piyaporn Sakkasem said she felt grateful the committee recognised the work she has been doing since 1979.

She also sounded a note of optimism by saying younger readers are likely to subscribe to novels via online platforms and that there are new opportunities in the publishing industry.

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