Street artist Bon, one of Bangkok’s most loved and recognizable public practitioners, has been busy since the passing of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
He has been painting murals across the city in tribute to the late leader, who he called, “A human who was a good inspiration to millions of people to live their life and create great things — his value and importance are worth mentioning with love and respect.”
The first piece to go up was a black line drawing of the late king that reaches a few stories high. It’s on a wall near the Khlong 7 junction in Pathum Thani.
In typical Bon style, he painted one of his own signature bird characters in the lower right corner with a roller brush, as if the bird was responsible for the touching tribute.
Bon is known for his detailed, vibrant characters that are both childlike and wry. His calling card is a skull wearing Mickey Mouse ears that decorates countless buildings from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to Phuket.
Since the first mural, shortly after the late king’s passing on Oct.13, more pieces have sprung up. In one, a large gray bird lights a candle and offers it to a photo of the late monarch as he cheekily hides his graffiti gear behind his back:
In another, several blackbirds send thoughts of love, by way of hearts, up to a painted Thai flag, flying at half-mast in honor of the late king:
In the latest, another black bird has been “caught in the act” of painting a nine inside a heart, in honor of the late Rama IX:
When asked about his feelings for the late king and why he chose to use his bird character in all of these murals he told Coconuts, “Power makes a human know what sacrifice means…or power makes a creature who cannot fly pick up pieces of woods and connect them together in order to paint on the wall five times taller than him for three hours to express his deep sorrow.”
From what we understand, there are more murals to come.