BANGKOK — Those awkward, adorable mythical creatures that rose to internet fame from their humble abodes in Thailand’s rural temples will soon be available in your own home.
Tua mom and Hera, the two magical beasts that went viral on social media this week after their statues were seen at some rural temples, will soon take a life as hand-cast resin figurines. Pre-orders will open 5pm Wednesday, just in time for the holidays!
Artist Jumpaburi said he wanted to honor how those two creatures were depicted by local artists – they may look hilarious to Bangkokian eyes, but they are a unique form of art in itself.
“I wanted to make these into figurines because they’re an example of naive art by simple villagers, without formal training,” Pracha said by phone. “They didn’t have a framework to limit their art. This is the purest form of art, without angles or framework, so the characters come out unique, funny, strange and cute.”
A statue of Tua Mom, a four-legged mix of dragon and lion, is located at Wat Prathat Kham Kaen in Khon Kaen province, while the pair of half-crocodile, half-naga Hera guard the temple of Wat Chaiyaphum in Ubon Ratchathani.
They went viral after some netizens posted photos of them on social media and noted that their cute look could even rival Japanese cartoon figures.
Pracha said the resin figurines will cost 999 baht for a pair of uncolored figures, and 1,250 baht for a pair of colored ones. The Tua mom one is 5cm tall and the gold Hera is 6cm tall.
The artist said he would donate 100 baht of every order to Wat Prathat Kham Kaen and Wat Chaiyaphum, the temples where the two original figures are housed.
“I hope that these will be made into mascots of the province to promote the area’s tourism and bring in income, much like Kumamon does for Japan,” Pracha said.