COMMISSIONING TEMPLE MURALS IN A LAO VILLAGE – A PATRON’S PERSPECTIVE – TAASA Review June 2015

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This article was originally found in the June 2015 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 24, Issue 2, Page 22).

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Dao Midgley T his story of temple murals is based on events in the small village of Ban Kok Ngiew, 15 kilometres from the northern Lao city of Luang Prabang.

It began with the construction of a new shrine at the village temple and revolves around two brushes – two paint brushes owned by an artist, a former monk with a great talent and passion for religious art, who went home to marry his childhood sweetheart. Over a four year period from 2007-2011, members of the Canberra Lao community raised over A$28,000 and worked with the village community in Ban Kok Ngiew to build a new shrine in the village’s temple compound.

The design follows the northern Lao style with three, multi-layered, curved, clay-tiled roofs topped by a spire of 9 elements (nyot shor faa), corner hooks and with protective nagas for the access stairways...