Celebrating Penpan Sittitrai
In the skilled hands of Penpan Sittitrai, a watermelon was far more than a refreshing treat on a summer day: it was art.
Using just a carving knife, she magically transformed melons into graceful swans, mangoes into rabbits, and potatoes into ducklings. Nature was a favorite theme, and she often formed lotus flowers from common foods like yam beans and garlic bulbs. Her intricate sculptures were used as showstopping centerpieces and serving vessels.
Even Thailand’s monarchs tapped Sittitrai for her talents. She once carved water chestnuts into 500 jasmine flowers for a royal wedding, and turned 250 coconuts into urns for a royal dining event.
On February 24, 2010, at the age of 83, Sittitrai was awarded the honorary title of National Artist for her outstanding contributions to Thailand’s arts. Instituted in 1985, “National Artist Day” is celebrated in Thailand on February 24.
In recognition of Sittitrai’s contributions to Thailand’s visual arts, today’s Doodle draws inspiration from her many books, including, “The Art of Thai Vegetable and Fruit Carving.”