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Architects of Buddhist LeisureSocially Disengaged Buddhism in Asia's Museums, Monuments, and Amusement Parks$
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Justin Thomas McDaniel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824865986

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824865986.001.0001

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Ecumenical Parks and Cosmological Gardens

Ecumenical Parks and Cosmological Gardens

Braphai and Lek Wiriyaphan and Buddhist Spectacle Culture

(p.82) 2 Ecumenical Parks and Cosmological Gardens
Architects of Buddhist Leisure

Justin Thomas McDaniel

University of Hawai'i Press

Lek and Braphai Wiriyaphan were married Sino-Thai entrepreneurs that became some of the greatest builders of Buddhist theme parks and ecumenical memorials in Asia. They designed parks and museums including the largest wooden temple and the largest metal animal statue in the world. This chapter compares their sites to others the Haw Par Villa in Singapore, the Wat Muang “Hell Park” in Thailand, the Centro Ecuménico Khun Iam in Macau, Chan-soo Park’s Moga-A Sculpture Garden in South Korea, the Sala Keaoku sculpture garden in Laos, as well as modern Buddhist temples and art galleries designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, Thawan Duchanee, Tadao Ando, Takashi Yamaguchi, Shin Takamatsu, among others. These sites are a mixture of religious buildings, leisure and tourist sites, and spectacle sites (J. misemono). They overwhelm instead of instruct. They encourage distraction, not focus. They are an important part of carnival culture that link the spectacular, grotesque, the absurd, and the comedic.

Keywords:   Thailand, Laos, Korea, Macau, modern art and architecture, Buddhism, cosmology, sculpture, carnival, grotesque, hell

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