Deputy Minister of Commerce anticipates increasing popularity of Thai handicrafts.

Deputy Minister of Commerce anticipates increasing popularity of Thai handicrafts.

Distribution value of “The 11th Identity of Siam” expected to be over 50 million baht.

Weerasak feels sure that “The 11th Identity of Siam” will support handicraft entrepreneurs, and increase the industry’s popularity among new generations. A distribution value of over 50 million baht is expected.

Mr. Weerasak Wangsuphakitkosol, Deputy Minister of Commerce, presided over the opening ceremony of “The 11th Identity of Siam” organised under a “Charm of Wisdom” theme from 30 January to 2 February 2020 at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC). 

At the event he took the chance to talk with several of the country’s master artisans, who have been praised by the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand (SACICT). Weerasak noted that Thai crafts have improved to be more consistent with buyers’ needs while preserving their traditional delicacy and charm. He’s therefore confident that Thai crafts will be increasingly popular among new generations, with the potential for export to international markets.

The Identity of Siam this year aimed to promote and distribute products from The Foundation of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, as well as Thai crafts, to make them more recognizable to both Thais and foreigners; add marketing channels for Thai craft producers; and credit 29 Thai craft creators as “national master artisans, master craftsmen” and “heritage artisans” for 2020.

SACICT provided many interesting activities across seven zones, comprising:

Zone 1: Appreciation of Thai crafts – Aims to distribute products from the Foundation of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand; to demonstrate the work processes of certain foundation members; and to demonstrate their handicraft working (e.g. Lai Kit bamboo weaving, embroidery, artificial flowers for royal designation, etc).

Zone 2: Praise of master artisans and heritage artisans – This exhibition presented crafts made by Thai master artisans, master craftsmen, and heritage artisans for 2020.

Zone 3: Wisdom inscribed in the nation – The exhibition presented more than 30 craft masterpieces made by Thai master artisans, master craftsmen, and heritage artisans (e.g. Buddhist Lent candle work, banana-stalk carving, intricate paper cutting, batik work, etc).

Zone 4: Creation of craftsmanship – This workshop allowed visitors to make special crafts, with up to four activities held twice a day.

Zone 5: Local identity – An exhibition presenting crafts selected as GI projects (e.g. silk work, ceramic work, and local weaving).

Zone 6: Product booths – This zone consisted of more than 200 booths distributing valuable products made by international master artisans. The handicraft work zone was divided into four areas:

- Vijitra Maya (Exquisite): Suitable for collectors of high-class art exquisitely created by blending sculpture with painting (e.g. Khon Mask work, Grand Shadow Play, Nang Talung).

- Tak Tor Sai Yai (Weaving of bond): To visit and purchase Thai handwoven fabrics, which are globally recognized.

- Lum Ka Poom Panya (Invaluable wisdom): A variety of works made from traditional wisdom mixed with modern ideas, suitable for anyone seeking unique accessories and décor (e.g. metalwork, silverware, Niello ware, gold plate).

- Jane Jad Tassanasilp (Skillful visual art): The inspirations of skillful and experienced local craft creators (e.g. stucco work, woodcarving, banana- stalk carving, brass basketry, intricate papercutting, stone-polished bronzeware). 

Zone 7: SACICT shops – Shops distributing Thai craft products made by SACICT members.

Weerasak added that every year the Identity of Siam has improved and expanded the exhibition space. This year’s event was held at a 5,400sqm plot at BITEC, Bangna, and received a good response from buyers, fans, foreigners, and general attendees alike. It was expected that the event would attract 20,000 visitors with a distribution volume of 50 million baht.

“The 11th Identity of Siam” was held on 30 January–2 February 2020 at Hall EH 101, Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center (BITEC), Bang Na. For more information, please visit Facebook: SACICT.


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