A Photo Tour – Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)
A Photo Tour of Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun, more commonly referred to as “The White Temple, has been the most unique, dark and surprisingly beautiful temples we’ve visited so far. In 1997, Chalermchai Kositpipat, arguably the top artist in Thailand, spent his own money to begin designing and building his vision for a contemporary Buddhist temple the likes the world had never seen before. Although it is still under construction (completion is expected in 2070), it is already an artistic masterpiece and receives somewhere around five million tourists per year. It is one of the strangest temples you’ll ever see people praying inside as you have a mix of paintings ranging from traditional Buddhist paintings representing birth, life and death as well as contemporary images of famous movie characters like Neo, Superman, and Batman alongside depictions of the 9/11 attacks with a gas hose wrapping itself like a snake around the towers. The artist definitely has a lot to say about our current civilization within these paintings and isn’t shy to be very explicit in his art. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside the temple so you’ll have to visit it yourself to see these unusual but beautiful paintings.
With the design of Wat Rong Khun, the artist argues that you must first walk through hell to reach heaven. While walking over the first bridge you must avoid the hundreds of amazingly detailed hands reaching up from the pits of hell. If you look closely, one hand has red nail polish which apparently is supposed to represent that uneven distribution of evil acts committed by men versus women in our history. You must then walk past the angels and the guardians of heaven in order to reach the entrance of the temple or heaven.
Some of the things still under construction while we were there were some smaller temples and a wishing well with sculptures of the astrological signs of the Chinese calendar. It will be very interesting to see the completed project fifty years from now as it is already a stunning masterpiece.
Here is our photo tour of Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple):
Ross & Alyse