When the Religion Meets the Internet: Focusing on Naga Images Used by Visual Art in Thailand

Abstract

Naga, the guardian of Triratna, dominates the waters, and is an important cultural image of Thailand, as well as an auspicious symbol of ordinary life. There is a large and subtle Naga cultural heritage that includes folk literature and festivals in Thailand. Whether it is an old tradition or a new cultural creation, many cultural heritages named the Naga theme are combined with visual art, while spreading the images and beliefs of Naga through the Internet, including sculptures, murals, emoticons, animations, festivals, amulets, fabrics and exhibition artworks, etc. This article aims to use iconography for analyzing Naga images of visual art in Thailand, and to explore the changes that Naga worship has resulted in under the Internet. Research results show two important changes: (a), In cultural context terms, the cultural meaning of Naga images is changed on the internet, making it as a part of the cultural industry, which is different from previous religious connotations. (b), In the spread of Buddhism, the internet has led to changes in the way the Buddhist doctrine is diffused, different interpretations of Buddhist scriptures included, which is challenged by virtual worlds.



Author Information
Ya Liang Chang, Huanggang Normal University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2021
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21