Stuck on Siam: The Semiotics of Pop Culture Stickers and Sticker Art in Thailand

By Dale Alan Konstanz.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Considering the Thai propensity for elaborately embellished surfaces on traditional architecture and decorative arts, it should come as no surprise that stickers can be found plastered on everything from taxis to concrete city walls to electrical poles in Thailand. In a country where censorship is all too common, the stickers provide a platform for freedom of expression, and factoring in the low earnings of many citizens here, the designs yield an inexpensive way, albeit temporary method, to add color and ornamentation to otherwise bleak environments. In addition, it is often a way for many Thais to assert their sense of humor and playfulness. Through the investigation of various types of stickers produced by street artists, young designers, and regular folk in the kingdom, one can come to a better understanding of the national psyche, as well as specific Thai preferences and particular aspects of contemporary Thai culture.

Keywords: Stickers, Cultural, Thailand

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 979.100KB).

Dale Alan Konstanz

Senior Lecturer, Fine and Applied Arts Division, Mahidol University International College, Bangkok, Thailand

Dale Konstanz has been based in Bangkok, Thailand for over a decade, where he teaches in the Fine and Applied Arts Division at Mahidol University International College. His research centers around contemporary popular culture, and he is also involved in the production of his own artworks which have been exhibited internationally. He is the photographer and writer behind the book Thai Taxi Talismans, published by River Books in Bangkok, and he maintains the popular blog, Still Life in Moving Vehicles, which focuses on the religious and pop culture paraphernalia found inside Bangkok taxis.