Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple of Thailand, was based on a very simple idea. Its creator, Chalermchay Kositpipat, wanted to create the most beautiful temple in the world. Undoubtedly, the one who enters this temple comes out with an indelible impression of him. There is simply no other place on Earth like Wat Rong Khun.
When you stand in front of the temple, you see a group of desperate hands. This hell is an endless pit of desires and human attachments, according to Buddhism. As soon as you cross the bridge over the “hell”, you are greeted by statues of the heavenly guards. There is no way back by this moment, the way is only forward. In fact, the guard working in the temple will actually shout at you if you try to go back. The symbolism of the bridge from “hell” to “paradise” means the Buddhist path to enlightenment.
The interior of the temple is full of modern cultural references interlaced with traditional Buddhist images. This is a work of art in itself.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to truly appreciate the history of this temple, if you do not shed light on the exciting life of its creator. Chalemchay Kositpipat was born in Chiang Rai and graduated from a traditional Thai art school. While his early works include temples and frescoes in Thai Buddhist style, in Thailand, some consider his art controversial because it is a mixture of symbols of modern culture and traditional Thai art. All his life he lived in Sri Lanka and London, selling his art and doing exhibitions in Europe and Asia.
When Chalermchay acquired enough funds to work on his own project, he returned to his hometown and decided to reconstruct and then destroy Wat Rong Khun.
To this day, he has spent on the project more than a million dollars of his own money. Although he does not shy away from donations, the artist set the maximum amount of $ 10,000 for any donations to prevent donors from influencing the temple.
Unfortunately, in 2014, an earthquake in Chiang Mai damaged the temple. For some time, Chalermchay was thinking about abandoning the project. Fortunately, the engineering team reported that there was no significant damage to the temple. He not only decided to continue the project, but also made it the work of his life.
Ironically, the temple looks almost like he lives his life. Once upon a time, it collapsed separately from old age. It was then restored, but suffered only from an earthquake. Finally, the creative genius stepped forward and took over the future of the temple.
This is the most incredible love story between the artist and his art.
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