Friday, May 6, 2011

Buddhist Art In London

Last Wednesday Ven. Vanghisa, Rajith and I went to visit Wat Buddhapadipa in Wimbledon. Built in 1981 the temple was the first purpose-built Buddhist temple in the UK. It is notable for several reasons – mainly the extensive and beautifully cultivated grounds and the murals in the main shrine. These murals were painted by Chalermchai Kositpipat, Sompop Budtarad and Panya Vijinthanasarn and their students and are a genuine tour de force; distinctly modern while drawing on traditional Thai forms. I would describe their style as Siamo-Buddhist surrealism. They were severely condemned in Thailand as ‘unBuddhist’ and ‘an insult to the Buddha’ until King Bumipol commissioned a painting by Kositpipat after which the critics decided they were outstanding after all. To me they are as temple paintings should be - understandable when viewed from a distance while being captivating when observed close up because if all their little details.


Sundara said...

I love the second-to-last picture with the punk standing in front of (what appears to be) a disapproving Charlie Chaplin! It reminds me of the artwork on one of the covers of a NOFX album (NOFX are a punk band).

I'm no art critic, but I know what I like, and I think those murals are pretty cool!

Buddha said...

Wow.they are beautiful.i plan to use them as my wallpaper & Screen saver

ricoBaby said...

that punk might be me.

thais can be quite resilient to change and outside customs.

Sarah said...

I really like the photo of the temple with you both at the front. Is it your photo? I am designing some wall art for my classroom and would like to use this photo as part of the Buddhist section.
Would that be OK? Thank you Sarah Moore (