Chapter

Portraits That Matter: King Chulalongkorn Objects and the Sacred World of Thai-ness

Irene Stengs

in Things

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239450
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823239498 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823239450.003.0009

Series: Future of the Religious Past (FUP)

Portraits That Matter: King Chulalongkorn Objects and the Sacred World of Thai-ness

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This chapter addresses the role of mass-produced portraits of the Siamese King Chulalongkorn (Rama V, r. 1868–1910) in a personality cult that emerged in the 1990s among the urban Thai middle class in response to hopes and anxieties about Thai identity in a globalizing world. The portraits are understood as having sought out their owners themselves, even though they are typically obtained as gifts or bought from door-to-door venders, and as capable of exerting agency and providing support and security.

Keywords: Images; Portraits; Mass-production; Siam; Thailand; King Chulalongkorn; Rama V; Personality cult

Chapter.  5785 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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