Every Thai is connected to their beloved King Bhumipol Adulyadej in one way or another. As the year of mourning approaches an end, Thai artists come together to create tributes and exhibitions to commemorate the late King in Bangkok.

Nothing unites Thai people more than their love and respect for late King Bhumipol Adulyadej. For the first time in Bangkok, as the buzzing metropolis mourned its loss, the city of light became the city of silence. What is impressive though is that amongst the tears and sadness during the grieving period, artists also joined hands to express their gratitude, love, and respect through different forms of visual art. From paintings on university walls of the King by local university students to exhibitions in malls and museums by well-known artists; the list of tributes dedicated to the late King is never-ending.

Many of us are aware that the King was talented in many different fields, especially in the artistic sphere. The King was a self-taught artist himself and continues to be a remarkable source of inspiration for the creative community. At the “Forever in Our Hearts” exhibition, four talented artists poured their own hearts out onto canvas and paper to present a collection of various artworks for the King. The techniques at the exhibition range from impressionism to oil painting and watercolor. With the joint collaboration of 18 artists, the exhibition provides glimpses of the King from perspectives that we have never seen before.

“It is the love, honesty and directions his Majesty the late King has always shown us that motivated me to create painted portraits of the King,” expresses Mana Kwangsue, an impressionist artist from the “Forever in Our Hearts” exhibition. “My hope is that my paintings will remind people of his teachings and that people will continue to follow his footsteps.”

For many Thais, King Bhumipol Adulyadej was the only King they have ever known. He was a part of their everyday life. One of the most visceral ways he will continue to live on is through his passion for art and as a constant source of inspiration for creatives to pursue their artistic dreams.

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