Ayutthaya III: Be-Inspired Workshop Series

27 September - 1 October 2021
Seminar Room, TB5-36, TB6-14 & TB10-01

In its third instalment using Ayutthaya as a subject matter and area of focus, the academy-wide project of Ayutthaya continues to incorporate existing modules across schools as well as interdisciplinary studies where students were involved not only in lectures, but also workshops learning about traditional art forms practiced during the Ayutthaya period.

More than 180 students from the School of Art & Design, School of Arts Management, Dance & Theatre and School of Music participated in a Nang Yai workshop that introduced them this ancient Thai shadow puppet that was first mentioned in travel documentation records by Bishop Tachard, an envoy of Louis XIV of France, who visited Ayutthaya in 1685. In the workshops conducted by Dr Paphutsorn Wongratanapitak from Kansadaeng Watthanatham, Thailand. Students had the opportunity to learn not only the history of this traditional art form of puppet theatre performed to royalty narrating stories derived mainly from the Ramakien, but also the craft in making a life-sized Nang Yai puppet.

Whilst their peers were involved in the Nang Yai workshops, 20 Year 3 students from the Diploma of Dance embarked on a week-long dance workshop, with dance principals from Thai Dance Society, Singapore as well as Dr Paphutsorn Wongratanpitak. These students spent the week learning Ram Sat Chatri, a dance inspired by Lakhon Chatri - the folk dance-drama made popular during the Ayutthaya period. The dance workshop ended with a performance outcome attended virtually by staff and students of NAFA.

In all, students gain inspirations through this learning  journey to help with their explorations in multidisciplinary approaches to generate and develop new ideas, recapturing the spirit of pride, enterprise and adaptability from the old world into the new and translating them into unique creative outcomes.


A group of students learning how holes are being punctured on a Nang Yai puppet.

After the completion of their puppets, students had the opportunity to try out some simple, basic movements of a puppeteer.

Ayutthaya Workshop Series (Video 1)

Dance students also had the opportunity to learn how to dress up in traditional costumes worn during the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

Students dressed up in court dance costumes.

Ayutthaya Workshop Series (Video 2)

Ayutthaya Workshop Series (Video 3)

Students learning the precision between hand and feet coordination, as well as the intricacy of each movement.