Bridging old and new.
Amid noisy street food stalls and old-school mom and pop shops on the hectic outskirts of Lad Phrao, an unlikely treasure is hidden behind deceptively outdated signage. Mongkon 108 is a modern goldsmith and design studio that has become a favorite among avid Hong Kong, Singaporean and Thai amulet collectors for its unique approach.
This low-key goldsmith's unorthodox amulet framing work draws an electic mix of buyers seeking bespoke designs to house everything from 200 year-old Buddha bronze coins to rare, sacred items from legendary monks. Despite his lack of formal design training, founder and designer Pichanan Sinsap masterminds contemporary designs that harmiously marry old and new, bridging classical Siamese conventions with modernist aesthetics.
“Our approach is to create a design that complements and enhances the authentic beauty of these sacred items," explains Sinsap. "These days, with conspicuous trends, it is very easy to get carried away and overdesign things that overshadow the beauty of these iconic amulets. We don’t just flood our design with lots of thick gold and big diamonds. Our designs are always subtle, honest and modest with the right balance of the respectful religious belief and aesthetics.”
Sinsap's mission is to make these religious relics relevant to younger generations. “Small Buddhist amulets have been part of the Thai culture for centuries," he explains. "Today, I think it is important to modernize and update the way we wear these amulets before they start to be too irrelevant in the eyes of the modern generation. A hybrid of old and new world is the way forward or, I might say, it is like the sacred world’s 'new normal.'”
Head to Mongkon 108 Goldsmith's official Facebook page to find out more.