For this assignment I decided to go in a different direction in regards to where that artwork is from! I have chosen to share the art work the represents the story of Ramakien, and Thai epic that was influenced by the Indian epic of Ramayana, a story of good versus evil that is a deep part of Thai culture. This art is found in Thailands’ most famous temple, Wat Phra Kaeo, “Temple of the Emerald Buddha.” This wall consists of 178 colorful murals that was hand painted in this sacred place during the late 18th century. This masterpiece was made with oil paint, gold leaves and on a slighty textured surface. The story of Ramakien is one of ancient times of old Thailand and old Sri Lanka. The main characters are Rama, the good king in green also said to be Buddha reborn in another life, Sita his wife and daughter of the enemy, Hanuman, the great white monkey, son of the wind god and the evil Tosakan, ruler of Longka (Sri Lanka) who was said to be born of demons with ten necks, heads and arms. Through honor, self control and patience Rama was able to defeat his enemy and stay married to Sita and reign over their province. I reccoment looking up the Thai epic if you are interested, it’s a little difficult to summarize. This story is so deeply rooted to the values and morals of Thai culture it was brought back to life with these murals after many of the versions were lost during war in the late 1700’s. I had to opportunity to recently visit this temple and walked through its entirety, it is defiantly a sight to see! The detail that was put into this art was incredible, there was no area of empty space, from the beautiful temples in gold to the details in the background of landscape, the sight was breathtaking. When we studied the Sistine chapel and Michelangelo’s ceiling I was reminded of this mural and I think that this was kind of the same idea just with a different culture. I provided just a few murals because it was so big but feel free to look at more on this website it is a 12 minute video of just paintings and the temple:
1. How long do you think this took to complete?
2. Do you feel like this art relates to anything you have seen before?
3. What is your favorite part about these murals?