Wat Poramaiyigawas: The Reflection of Mon Identity during the Transition from Old to New Siam

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Abstract

This research has studied Wat Poramaiyigawas with the objective to study Mon identity in Siam context through Buddhist architecture during the transition from Old to New Siam. The essence of this research is set upon the concept of Stuart Hall's Representation Theory which indicates that architecture is constructed with the purpose to express the creator's concept, with the method of studying related historical information and physical field study. Wat Poramaiyigawas had been abandoned before it was restored by the Mon immigrants in Thonburi Kingdom until it was later sponsored by Siamese aristocrats for major reconstruction. During the social transition from a conservative society to a modern one which had the Western world as the prototype, temple reconstruction or building of the Mon the subordinates of Siam where changes were taking place, the Mon had to follow Siamese aristocrats' view showing not only for the purpose of ideological significance of their belief or Buddhist function, but also was the venue for creating the ideological and conceptual meaning which were created symbolically through art and architecture according to views reflecting identity of the creator in that period than Mon people who were the real users.

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