August 01st, 2012 to August 23rd, 2012



C H A S I N G    T H E    W I L D   G O O S E

 b y  P a t r i c i a  B j a a l a n d  W e l c h

The  wild  goose  or  hamsa has been a popular motif in Asia for over  2000  years,  featuring  in both Hindu and Buddhist art (gazing down at a reclining Vishnu, at Amaravati, on the cross-bars of Buddhist thrones), cave murals and paintings (such as those at Ajanta and Ellora), ancient Indian textiles, as well as figuring in some of the region's best   known   classical   stories, such as the Mahabharata and the Hamsajataka. They appear on Tibetan sutra covers, Kashmiri tiles, as well as Thai royal barges. One  of China's  most  famous pagodas is called 'The Wild Goose Pagoda'. But why? This was the question our speaker pondered last year, a question that took her on, in her own words, her "wild goose chase". Join us as we travel together with her on this journey discovering the meaning  and symbolism of the wild goose, its many forms, and the role it has played in South, Southeast and East Asian religious art.
Mrs. Patricia Bjaaland Welch,  M.A., is a former Lecturer in Asian Religion and Philosophy (College of  Liberal  Arts,  Boston  University) and  an  independent researcher and  author of  several books including Oxford University Press' Chinese New Year and Tuttle's Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery. She is currently a resident in Singapore, where she is an active docent and lecturer, and a part- time resident in Bangkok.


DATE:     23 August 2012 (Thursday)

TIME:    7:30 p.m.

PLACE:    The Siam Society,  131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

For more information, please telephone Khun Arunsri at

(02) 661 6470-7, fax (02) 258 3491, or

Office Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Siam Society Members, Members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student I.D. cards, are admitted free of charge.

Non-Members Donation B200.

The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2012-2013 Lecture Series.