The Silpathorn Award, Thai: รางวัลศิลปาธร, is an honour for living Thai contemporary artists presented annually by the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture of Thailand. The awards were established in 2004 to promote Thai contemporary artists who are considered to be in their mid-career and who have already made notable contributions to Thai fine arts and culture.
Education and promotion of fine arts in the Kingdom of Thailand was under the auspices of the Department of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Palace Affairs. In 1943, the department's schools became Silpakorn University, founded by Silpa Bhirasri, an Italian sculptor who was named Corrado Feroci but became a Thai citizen during World War II and is considered the father of fine arts in Thailand.
Other offices promoting fine arts included the Office of the National Culture Commission and the Religious Affairs Department.
The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC), under the Ministry of Culture, was formed in 2001, and was tasked with supporting and promoting contemporary art and culture. While the National Artist programme has been generally aimed at veteran artists, especially those in the areas of Thai traditional arts, the OCAC recognised that younger artists needed support, promotion and recognition as well. In 2004, the Silpathorn Award was created, with honorees in the fields of visual art, literature, music, film and performing arts. In 2008, an award for the field of design was added.
Silpathorn Award honorees must meet the following qualifications:
- Thai nationals.
- Between the ages 30 to 50 years and still alive on the announcement day.
- Their works have continually been exposed to the general public until present.
- Their works have been released in Thailand and have made a great impact on Thai contemporary art and inspired young artists.
Silpathorn Kitikhun award
In 2008, a Distinguished ("Kitikhun") category was created for senior artists over 50 years of age who, because of controversy or unconventional works, would likely never be considered for the more conservative Thailand National Artist honor. At first this category was known in English as the "Honorary" category, but the translation was changed to "Distinguished" at the time the awards were actually given. This is because it was felt that in English an "honorary" award might be considered to be less "real" whereas the intent of the committee was to create a senior grade of the award.
Definition of Silpathorn
Silpathorn brooch, cash prize
The Silpathorn Award is in the form of a brooch, modeled on the emblem of the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, and made of white and yellow gold and decorated with diamonds and emeralds. There is also a cash prize, which as of 2007[update] was 100,000 baht.
List of Silpathorn Award winners
List of Distinguished ("Kitikhun") Silpathorn Award winners
The Distinguished Silpathorn Award was created in 2008.
- S. P. Somtow, composer, conductor and author
- Saiyart Semangern, designer
- Suwan Kongkhuntien, designer
- No honorees named
- S.E.A. Write Award
- Thailand National Artist
- Cinema of Thailand
- Culture of Thailand
- Dance of Thailand
- Music of Thailand
- "Thunska Pansittivorakul received the Silpathorn award 2007". ThaiIndie.com. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- "National treasures: Seven contemporary artists are recognised at this year's Silpathorn Awards". The Nation (Thailand). 2007-08-05. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
- Phataranawanik, Phatarawadee (2008-08-06). "National treasures". Daily Xpress. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- Gearing, Julian (1998-10-02). "Painted into a corner". AsiaWeek. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
- Phataranawik, Phatarawadee (2009-06-19). "Silpathorn 'breaks rule', awards foreign artist". Print edition only. Daily Xpress/The Nation (Thailand). p. 2.
- Jaichalard, Pakamard (2010-06-18). "Ministry lauds 35 top artists at Silpathorn awards". The Nation (Thailand). Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Thailand