The Royal Thai Embassy, in collaboration with the National Museum, New Delhi and the Thai Khadi Research Institute, Thammasat University, organizes a special exhibition “Mudmee: A Shared Silk Heritage” at the National Museum, New Delhi.
“Mudmee: A Shared Silk Heritage” is an exhibition on Mudmee silk which features around 50 pieces of old and new Mudmee silk from Thailand, and a few dresses and accessories made from Thai Mudmee silk, along with a selection of Indian Ikat silk from the collection of the National Museum, New Delhi
Thailand and India have shared a long history of textiles. Various types of textiles were imported from India to Siam for the local market and royal court use since Ayutthaya period (14th – 18th Century) including block-printed or painted cotton (chintz) from Masulipatnam, silk brocade from Banaras, and patola (double ikat silk) from Gujarat. Siamese had commissioned Indian-made textiles with Siamese royal patterns exclusively for the royal court, usually with the flame motifs, as seen in traditional Thai paintings and architecture. At the same time, textiles with simplified or mixed patterns of Indian taste were produced for the general Siamese public. These Indian-Thai patterns and motifs can still be seen in the Mudmee Silk in Thailand today.
The exhibition was inaugurated on Friday 10 August 2018 by H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand, and Dr. B. R. Mani, Director General, National Museum, New Delhi. Dr. Anucha Thirakanont, Director of Thai Khadi Research Institute and Curator of the Exhibition, gave a special lecture and led gallery walk for the guests at the Opening evening.
It was a very auspicious occasion to open an exhibition on Mudmee in August as the 12th August 2018 was the 86th Birthday Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand. One of Her Majesty’s royal initiatives is to revive and modernize Mudmee and Thai silk. In the early 20th Century, the appreciation of handwoven Thai textiles had generally declined due to westernization of culture and fashion. Her Majesty began to revive the weaving tradition and promote the use of Mudmee and Thai silk by working directly with villagers, preserving the traditional Mudmee patterns which are unique to each village, and introducing improvements in textile production to better reflect the demands of the market. At the same time, Her Majesty also promoted Thai silk through her attire on the national and international stage and commissioning world renowned designers to create fashionable wear using Mudmee and other Thai silk. Her Majesty Queen Sirikit initiated the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT) to promote the production of traditional Thai crafts, especially handweaving, as a means of supplementing rural Thais’ income. Through Her Majesty’s pioneering work, people throughout Thailand and abroad have come to know and appreciate Mudmee and Thai silk, and silk production has become a main source of income which has helped improving the quality of lives of Thais in rural areas.
The Exhibition will be on view for the public until 25 September 2018. Entry with Museum ticket.