The Creation of a “Lanna Sense of Place” Through Fine Art in Northern Thailand: A Case Study of Hotel Lobby Decorations in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rani





Thailand has struggled to maintain a balance between fast development and traditional values in the modern context. The northern region of Thailand is no exception and was used as a case study in assessing how local culture and belief can survive in the modern world. The Revival Period of Lanna, late-18th to 21st century, during the reign of Chao Kawila (1782-1813) up to the present, was chosen to be evaluated in this research. The scope was five-star hotels in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.


From this research, it was found that people are more attracted to the aesthetic value of the selected fine art. These fine art objects – furniture, sculpture, flower, painting, wood carving panel, human object, animal object and accessories – are the favourite items to be applied by the hotels. Such fine art tends to more function as decorative items as compared to previous practice where such items were applied to the main building structure. From the finding, it can be concluded that any trend or practice can be observed and any weaknesses can be improved in order to deliver accurate information about local style.


Keywords: a case study of hotel lobby decorations, Thai hotel decorations, the creation of sense of place, Lanna, hotel lobby decorations in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 11/2018 (Number 2), Page 77-95)