Fake Cakes: Thai Weddings

Damnoen Techamai

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Chittawadi Chitrabongs

According to the concept of hybridity provided by Bhabha, defining hybridity and studying a location of hybridity is a kind of a translation process and interpretation process within its “new” (hybrid) forms of representation, in its own space of difference, in the space of translation which he terms ‘third space’. For him, hybrid culture/space is not just a simplistic mixture of two or more different things, but part of a process of cultural hybridity. In this view the hybrid culture/space is a cultural process and indeed has its complexity. Since ‘hybridity’ has its complexity and logic therefore what is the logic of hybridity in contemporary Thai weddings? 

My thesis has an aim to investigate the contemporary weddings in Thailand which is categorised as one of a hybrid culture – a mixture of Western and traditional Thai culture at least on three levels: one is at the level of forms and spaces, second is at the level of expressions and the other is at the level of meanings or more precisely a relationship between two terms, a signifier and a signified. By using hybridity as a key concept to investigate the contemporary Thai weddings and their elements. The interpretation will mainly depend upon the anthropological interpretation of cultural analysis from all of the collected data through a range of cultural wedding materials provided by the wedding experts such as wedding magazine, wedding package, wedding photography and video.

Image: Pre-wedding photography, source: Naruephat photography

Biography: Damnoen is a PhD candidate and a lecturer. In 2009 he received his MA from the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University (History and Theory unit). During his years of graduate study, he worked as a research assistant at the historical map laboratory where the studies focused on historical and morphological inquiries, he was a teaching assistant in architectural psychology, phenomenology in architecture courses at the same faculty. He has spent his time working as an architect and graphic designer on various projects. Since 2012 he has been conducting research and teaching at the Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University before he applied to study for the PhD in a research programme at the AA in 2016. Since 2018, he has been working as a tutor at AAVS Bangkok workshop on Curartistry. His research interests centring around the area of place and space, spaces of hybridity, semiotics, contemporary culture and cultural anthropology.