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White Temple Chiang Rai Thailand (Northern)

Le temple Wat Rong Khun

 

Affiliation: Theravada Buddhism

It is a privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai ProvinceThailand.

Wat Rong Khun (Thaiวัดร่องขุ่น), perhaps better known to foreigners as the White Temple,

It is owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and opened it to visitors in 1997.

When completed, the white temple compound will have nine buildings, including the existing ubosot,

  • a hall of relics,
  • a meditation hall,
  • an art gallery, and
  • living quarters for monks.

 

The bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”:

The main building is the ubosot, which is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake.

In front of the bridge are hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire.

The bridge proclaims that the way to happiness is by foregoing temptation, greed, and desire.

Next to the lake stand two very elegant Kinnaree, half-human, half-bird creatures from Buddhist mythology.

 

Gate of Heaven:

After crossing the bridge, the visitor arrives at the “gate of heaven”,

guarded by two creatures representing Death and Rahu, who decides the fate of the dead.

In front of the ubosot are several meditative Buddha images.

 

Ubosot:

The ubosot is an all-white building with fragments of mirrored glass embedded in the building’s exterior.

The ubosot embodies design elements from classic Thai architecture such as:

The three-tiered roof and

Abundant use of Naga serpents.

Inside the temple:

The decor swiftly moves from pristine white to fiery and bewildering.

Murals depict swirling orange flames and demon faces, interspersed with Western idols such as Michael JacksonNeo from The MatrixFreddy Krueger, and a T-800 series Terminator.

Images of nuclear warfare, terrorist attacks such as the World Trade Center attack, and oil pumps hammer home the destructive impact humans have had on earth.

The presence of Harry PotterSuperman, and Hello Kitty confuses the message somewhat, but the overall moral is clear: people are wicked.

 
The signature of Chalermchai Kositpipat on his work golden building in Wat Rong Khun, Chiang RaiThailand
 
 

The golden building:

A structure that stands out because of its colour is the golden building.

Another very ornately decorated structure,

 

 

The golden building symbolizes how people focus on worldly desires and money.

The golden building represents the body.

 

The white building symbolizes the idea to make merit and to focus on the mind, instead of material things and possession.

The white ubosot represents the mind.

 

Sur le Web: www.วัดร่องขุ่น.com 

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