Hua Hin will honour a local engraver who was selected by the Fine Art Department of Thailand to embellish the royal funeral pyre of the deceased King Bhumibol. Mr. Thanadet Bunnumphong, 56, the Hua Hin born artistic engraver, said that he was so proud to work with other Thai artists from the Fine Art Department to carve and engrave the royal funeral pyre and items to honour the late King.
Mr. Thanadet was selected by the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre from over 1,000 Thai artists after the group was reduced to 500, 100 and then 20 participants including the Hua Hin native artist. Called by his peers as Kru Chang or the Art Maestro, Mr. Thenadet has already completed the registration process with the other 19 candidates. They will be responsible for carving and beautifying sandalwood imported from Kui Buri National Park in Prachuab Khirikhan. The sandalwood will be used as a raw material to make the royal funeral pyre, the royal urn and other items dedicated to the late King. Mr. Thanadet said that he has been told by the Office of the Royal Affairs that the artists need to complete around 10,000 items. They also have to follow the traditional royal norms in carving, engraving and enbellishing the items. The traditions have been passed on from one generation to another since the reign of King Rama I.
A former bank staff member, Mr. Thanadet left his full-time job to follow his artistist interestes, engraving small items to sell to foreigners as a souvenir. His skills were learnt from his grandparents, also the Hua Hin natives. Mr. Thanadet will start working at the beginning of February. He said that he would finish all the work over the next six months. The Hua Hin Mayor Mr. Nopporn Wutthikul is planning to present Mr. Thanadet a plaque and certificate of honour once the artist completes the work.