Thailand is a land of religions and beliefs. It is not surprising that there is so much integration of rituals from Brahminsm and Hinduism into Buddhism, which is the dominant religion and religious culture in Thailand.
Among the many dieties, Ganesh is an important god of knowledge and a teacher of all artists in Hinduism. In myth, he is a son of the god Shiva and goddess Umadevi (Parvati). He is known by many names in many countries. For instance, The Tamil call him “Pillaiyar” and in Tibet he is called “Tsoge-badag”. He also has many physical appearances. In general, there are 11 popular forms of Ganesh in the arts:
Bal Ganesh – The ganesh in child form.
Nart Ganesh – Ganesh with 4 hands, carrying the book, pot, wand and umbrella.
Laksmi Ganesh – Ganesh with 6 hands and the goddess Laksmi
Valayapa Ganesh – Ganesh embrasing his two wives in his laps
Veera Ganesh – Ganesh with 12 – 16 hands with weapons.
Haerampa Ganesh – 5 heads Ganesh sitting on lion.
Sampataya Ganesh – The most popular form of Ganesh with 2 hands.
Trimook Ganesh – 3 faces Ganesh with 4 hands.
Panja Ganesh – 5 faces Ganesh with 10 hands.
Vichai Ganesh – Ganesh with 4 hands and rat as his vehicle.
Ganesh Narai – Ganesh with 1-5 faces and 4-6 hands.
Female Ganesh is called Ganeshani or Ganeshari. The sculptures of Ganeshani are mainly found in India, Tibet, Mongolia and Bali. In some regions, Ganeshani is called Ganjanani or Ganjanari. It is believed that people worshipped Ganeshani and prayed for fertility and children.
Last year, I wrote about the exhibition of a Thai artist Salah Warin Jaijuntuck and revealed her aspiration to create images of the female, Ganeshani. At that time, we saw what she imagined. Now, in 10 March 2008, she was a guest artist of the Natayasala theatre of Jo-louise Hun lakorn lek puppets. And, in May, she exhibited “The Ganesh God Art” in Bangkok with the group of 20 traveling artists
Currently, she has a solo exhibition “Image art created from woman power about female ganesh gods ” again in Bangkok. Her work still reflects her technique of woodcarving and painting on woods. Her latest works on Female Ganesh are the products of her research and her imagination.