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The Residence

The Kunawong House Museum, a three-story residence which is currently the living space of the Kunawong family. The house exhibits art pieces ranging from antiques, traditional Thai art, contemporary art, sculptures, furniture, and home decorations from various eras and cultures. It is divided into 11 sub-zones, namely the Living Room of Era’s Dialogues, the Thai Heritage Tea Room, the Red Reading Room, the Dawn Dining Room, the Portrait Staircase, the Chakkraband Room, the Meditation Room, the Hallway of Buddhist’s Art, the Abstract Art Penthouse, The Secret Spiral Staircase, the Khien Yimsiri Garden. These spaces serve both for the family's use and display of collectibles, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the aesthetic pleasure of living alongside art.


The Secret Spiral Staircase

A small spiral staircase is hidden in the museum, stretching from the 3rd floor down to the 1st floor, exhibiting artworks that reflect stories of society and politics, which are also hidden angles in the Thai art community. These works are by leading social artists of Thailand, such as Tawee Ratchaneekorn, Vasan Sitthiket, Thammasak Booncherd, and Paisal Theerapongvisanuporn, and record the situations that occurred during that time through the expressions that each artist has chosen and critically in their style. A new generation artist like Nuriya Waji reflects her views through a Muslimah painting (a Muslim woman) with the crisis that occurred in the three southern border provinces.

The Red Reading Room

The room is used by the homeowner for writing and reading books regularly during the day. Every book stored in this room has been read and consists of history, art, philosophy, politics, architecture, and interior decoration books, reflecting the homeowner's interests very well. The table, chairs, and sofa set are Western-style. The desk was designed by Charles Cressent in the 18th century, made in France. The French-style lamp was created during the period when Europe was fond of Oriental decorative items, hence we see Chinese porcelain combined with legs made of bronze used in a Western manner. The first thing we see in this room is a large cabinet containing various puppets, both Siamese and from neighboring countries, including royal puppets, traditional small Thai puppets, bamboo cane puppets, and marionettes from Mandalay. Additionally, there are Khon masks which are masterpieces from various schools. The room also displays an upper-class Thai costume from the reign of King Rama IV, including a beautifully low table, a silver gilt decanter, a gilded silver niello water container, and a face-washing tray, an antique mirror, with a gold-topped jar for scented water and powder, and an ivory-ornamented cloth rack with Naga heads. Another side of the room is arranged with a Thai cabinet, inside which are items from the reigns of King Rama IV and V, such as a gold-coated water container, a Theppanom tray, and a fine gilded silver betel and nut set, Chinese tea sets, and a tea set painted with initials King Rama V ‘Jor. Por. Ror,’ Benjarong bowls, and cups, etc. This room reflects the homeowner's profound love for ancient traditional Thai arts. The walls exhibit traditional Thai paintings that are part of the conservation project of traditional Thai paintings of the Chakrabhand Posayakrit’s school, an identical work to the ordination hall of Wat Tri Thotsathep Worawihan, which has been creatively reconstituted onto a canvas.  The significant paintings include the life of Buddha at birth, beautifully re-composed by Chakrabhand, under the close supervision of Chakrabhand Posayakrit and Vallabhis Sodprasert. There are also traditional Thai paintings by the master artist Sompong Augcharawong displayed in this room.

The Portrait Staircase

A staircase hall adorned with portraits and sculptures on high white walls stands out with the faces and eyes of many people from various perspectives, origins, and roles. The images in front of us draw the eye to stop and look, along with the stories behind them that impress the hearts of visitors. From the Western world, there's the picture of a lawyer from Lyon, dressed in a black gown, elegant, painted with oil on canvas from the year 1848 by Jules Joseph Hallez, during the French Revolution. It confronts the image of Somdet Chaophraya Borom Maha Pichaiyat (Tat Bunnag), one of the early oil paintings of Siamese people painted with Western techniques in the year 1858 by artist J. Roberts of Charles Roberson Studio in London.  Another emotionally evocative painting that reminds one of the touching stories of the person in the picture is the portrait of Suwanni Sukhontha, an outstanding portrait work by Chakrabhand Posayakrit. Next to it is a painting of a Thai lady in high society, Chao Korkaew Prakaikawin Na Chiang Mai, painted by Basuki Abdullah, an Indonesian artist who spent a part of his life working as an artist in the royal court of Thailand. Looking up at the top of the wall, one will find the royal image of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Queen Consort of King Rama IX, by Sakwut Wisesmanee, which not only possesses beauty but also reflects power and grandeur clearly through Her Majesty's eyes. Over 40 portraits and sculptures installed throughout the large wall are images of real-life individuals who have inspired and augmented virtue, including writers, revolutionaries, actors, and lawyers. Many images are portraits of artists. Some were born poor but ended their lives grandly. All are works that are distilled from the hearts of artists of various nationalities and generations, such as Chamras Khietkong, Kars Klamnoi, Kritsada Phakawatsuntorn, Jitsing Somboon, Thanarit Thipwaree, Myrtille Tibayrenc, and Atchalinee Kesornsook, to name a few.