Moments of East-West Encounters in Siam

Explore this 'East Meets West' through this series of photos from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries.

By Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

The National Archives of Thailand

The New Swimming Pool (1932) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

Westerners, ranging from Christian missionaries to school teachers, have been present in Siam since before the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910)

St. Gabriels’ College (1921/1927) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

Students and teachers of St. Gabriels’ College in Bangkok. This photograph was taken in front of the Martin de Tours Building

Phra Ratchewethi (1911/1922) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

Phra Ratchewethi (Rum Phromchotiko), Wat Benchamabophit’s first prelate, with students of the Pali Waiyakon School.

S.S. Birma, an East Asiatic Co. steamboat (1900) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

However, it was during this King Chulalongkorn's reign that one sees an increase in the integration of Westerners into the daily life and culture of Siamese people.

King Chulalongkorn Ward (1912) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

King Chulalongkorn introduced Europeans with a plethora of skills and abilities, such as architects and artists from Italy,

The Bangkok Nursing Home (1912) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

doctors and nurses,

A Patient Room (1912) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

bringing them into the country to work in conjunction with Siamese people.

J. R. André Co. (1904/1910) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

This ‘east meets west’ continued, reaching its zenith during the reign of King Chulalongkorn and his sons, King Vajiravudh and King Prajadhipok.

A European gentlemen with an automobile (1925/1929) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

We move to and fro, exploring the daily lives of Westerners in Siam

A European gentlemen (1925/1929) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

and how they worked and interacted with Siamese people in the early 20th century.

A house in the style of the reign of King Vajiravudh (1910/1925) by The National Archives of ThailandBangkok Art and Culture Centre

There is movement, as Siam becomes a blend of Eastern and Western cultures.

Walk through the exhibition space to enjoy East Meets West

See the growing city of Siam 

Credits: Story

The Ministry of Culture, Thailand
The Fine Arts Department
The National Archives of Thailand
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
Sirivadhanabhakdi Foundation
Thai Beverage PLC
The Royal Photographic Society of Thailand
The Photographic Arts Foundation
Wet Plate and Alternative Process Thailand

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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