Wuthigrai Siriphon is a textile artist and researcher based in Thailand. His works explore ways to rethink and revitalize traditional crafts while balancing between the integrity of tradition and the exploratory approach to the practice. His projects often combine traditional Thai craft techniques with unconventional materials such as paper, monofilament and paper. In Gleaming Decay No.1, where he wove bamboo strips together with jewel beetle wings in a pattern of decaying temple murals, he explored the world of materials, forms, and meaning. Predominantly inspired by Buddhist architecture and tradition, he was interested in the embedded narrative behind woven fabrics used to wrap Buddhist Scriptures. This female way of participating in sacred ceremonies, which usually barred women due to their impurity, was for Wuthigrai a symbol of a persistent volition to thrive despite any societal rules.
Besides working as a visual artist, he is also a full-time lecturer in Textiles Design, Department of Textile and Fashion Design, Thammasat University. Wuthigrai’s thesis: Revealing Localized Design Practice in Thai Hand Weaving, won the 2018 Anglo-Thai Society Annual Educational Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2019, he won a grant from the British Museum and Arcadia’s Endangered Material Knowledge Programme for his current research project: Wooden Reed Making of the Ethnic Lao Khrang in Thailand. He is currently a co-investigator of Thai Textiles, a research project led by Dr Peter Oakley and funded by the Royal College of Art’s quality-related (QR) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) development fund.