Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Talk about unconventional! The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is a very contemporary Buddhist and Hindu temple located some 10+ kms outside of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.
You may ask yourself, “Who is the designer behind this ornate and somewhat unorthodox temple? The designer is Chiang Rai-born Chalermchai Kositpipat, a Thai visual artist who is primarily a painter. The construction of the temple started in 1997 and is still ongoing. I’ve done some reading on this temple and several sources have mentioned that because of its complexity, it could take 100 years to complete. When I passed through this Wat, the painters were still painting murals on the interior of this magnificent temple.
And yes, there’s even a cardboard cut-out of Chalermchai on the grounds. Besides the temple, there are other buildings on the grounds including an art gallery filled with Chalermchai’s paintings, which I might add, are quite thought-provoking.
White and bright!
Wild details - wherever you look. The next grouping of shots are as I entered the Wat by crossing a bridge. The ghoulish ‘sea of hands reaching up from hell’ just as one crosses the bridge to reach the temple are quite attention-grabbing.
Photos are not allowed to be taken inside the Wat - all I can say is…. same, same but different! Wild details - yes, white interior - no. Throughout the interior, contemporary images and images of recent world events fill the brightly coloured walls in an apocalyptic mural - everything from Michael Jackson to Star Trek, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, the Beatles and rocket ships, Neo from the Matrix,etc.
Gorgeous and dazzling detailing on the exterior walls of Wat Rong Khun (White Temple).
Other buildings on the grounds - these behind the White Temple. Also a photo of a rather interesting gate finial found throughout the grounds.
More detailing on other buildings in the area.