KHON + FUTURE
The exhibition celebrates Khon masked dance, a classic art form in Thailand that has been enjoyed by generations for centuries, and has received praise internationally since its inscription to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2018. In addition to raising awareness about this cultural tradition, the exhibition is serving as a charitable fundraiser, namely to assist, with the collaboration of the SUPPORT Foundation, young and underprivileged artists and artisans in continuing their education and launching their early careers. As noted by Dr. Duong Bich Hanh, Chief of the Culture Unit at UNESCO Bangkok, ‘Intangible cultural heritage survives and thrives only where it continues to be practiced and passed on by vibrant communities.’ UNESCO has been assisting in setting up a scholarship programme for a new generation of Thai artists and artisans.
‘Khon dance drama is performed each time not only by dancers, but also by musicians, ballad reciters, composers, mask and regalia makers, weavers, embroiderers, and set and prop makers, as well as master choreographers and ceremonial officiants’ says Dr. Anucha Thirakanont, Assistant Producer of the annual Khon performance organized by the SUPPORT Foundation. ‘These cultural practitioners are the most vital resources to the survival of Khon in the present day’.