Wat Khaek, just outside Nong Khai, by the Mekhong river, is a very unique temple with grounds occupied by dozens of these sculptures, some more bewildering than others.
The inspiration is not always Buddhist, though the philosophy behind them is.
Phra Luang Po Surirat (Venerable Father S.) was the creator of that temple and the one near Vientiane, with the same type of statuary.
I saw him many times, and witnessed completion of the largest Statue in the compound , a 25 FT Buddha with a 7 heads Naga hood. He would direct the construction from a shed, speaking thru a megaphone to the workers on the scaffolding.
His secretary told me there was no blueprints, and that he inspired the design to the masons and carvers "thru his stomach". Maybe...
Dressed in white, with a mop of black hair jutting up his head, he looked more like Little Richard's brother than a monk. there are many stories about him, and the people in Nong Khai resented his fame.
he died in 1994 at 74 I believe, and his son came back from Los Angeles to pretty much commercialize the site, and sure, looking at it, you'd think it could be a new DisneyLand attraction. Worth the trip!
Critiques | Translate
alimo3 (6854) 2004-10-26 16:36
A good picture of this very special place in Thailand.
nice composition and warm colors.
scalerman (26900) 2004-10-26 16:45
King, it's a humourous compo. Sharpness is weak. But your notes are copious and interesting. I suspect you'll be a pro after your next trip. cheers.
christina (2040) 2004-10-26 17:34
I like this shot and it has a funny edge to it. THe Buddha almost looks like he is posing with the person. I like the composition because the female figures are leading up to the Buddha, who is almost turning to look at you. Very nice!
PixelTerror (0) 2004-10-27 4:36
Bonjour Herve, cet alignement de statues en diagonale forme une jolie composition, j'aime bien aussi l'attitude fiere du garcon, style "je suis au moins aussi bien qu'elles !", un peu de bruit et qq scratchs dus au scan derangent l'oeil, je tente un petit WS.
cetrocomix (309) 2004-10-28 20:18
Looking for a pretty smile, I went to your page to see if you had sent a new one, and discovered here 6 pretty smiles in stones (I don't talk about your smile in next photo, the best one). Nice place. I like the contrast between the statues and the colorful monk. The scan always make a little mess but the workshop from PixelTerror fit it well.
oochappan (22043) 2004-10-29 0:36
Ah, that's funny , that small boy betweem those big statues, very well composed by slight perspective and the boy in front outcenterd, gives some eyetravelling in to the photo. Thanks for sharing Herve.
rabani (9645) 2004-10-29 3:32
Studying these statues, I've just learnt that erecting statue is a higher form of commitment by man, to what he believes or treasure. It is about materialising, the subject of his mind. The 5 feminine figures, looking identical and in serving gesture, makes a very interesting theme, or subject of this photo Herve.
alford (3961) 2004-11-08 2:42
Great shot Herve! Interesting notes too! Great colors captured here....the boy seems to be emulating the statues' smiles :)
jrzufferey (7301) 2004-11-19 15:53
Superbe composition Hervé, et merci pour la note photographique. Amitié /jr
JesusV (924) 2004-11-20 2:08
Nice perspective and dynamic composition. I also like the contrasts on the picture big statues-small child, grey vs colourful dresses, smiling statues-serious boy. Jesus
fireflyz (2097) 2005-11-04 18:43
Each time I visit your gallery I find a photo which I think I've never seen in your gallery before and this is one of them. It's a beautiful artwork as you properly categorized it. Nice light and sharp details. I think the yellow cloth really made a difference here. Well done my friend!