February 24 is National Artist Day in Thailand. National Artists are awarded annually on that date by the National Culture Commission, to showcase Tahi artists in literature, visual arts, applied and performing arts.
The date was chosen as the birth date of Rama II (24 February 1767 – 21 July 1824) under whose peaceful rule the arts flourished. He was patron to a number of poets, the most famous being Sunthorn Phu, considered the Shakespeare of Thailand.
National artists receive a monthly stipend for life, health insurance, emergency payments and funeral costs. Their works are preserved in the Supreme Artist Hall.
According to the Bangkok Post, the 2021 new national artists are:
– Professor Emertius Kamchorn Soonpongsri (painting)
– Amarit Chusuwan (painting – mixed media)
– Prapakorn Watanayakul (contemporary architecture)
– Samroeng Daengnaewnoy (exquisite art – wood carving)
In literature, the new national artists are:
– Anek Nawikmul
– Orasom Sutthisakhon
In performing arts, the new national artists are:
– Prateep Suksopha (folk song)
– Pramet Boonyachai (dramatic arts – khon)
– Peeb Konglaithong (Thai music)
– Suda Chuenbaan (Thai music – singing)
– Roongrudee Pengcharoen (Thai music – singing)
– Pong Assawinikul (sound system director – film recording)
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