Buddhist monk-the artist at the ancient pagoda

Monk Giac Thanh caring for every minor detail in his work

Monk Giac Thanh caring for every minor detail in his work

July 8, 2014 by phuyennews

Being dedicated with the religious tasks does not take away this Buddhist monk’s creativity. This monk-artist’s outstanding work is the nicely-looking winding dragon tails in the ancient pagoda of Long Tuong-the pagoda existing for over 200 years on Hoa My Dong land.

Constructed in 1808, the ancient pagoda of Long Tuong in Phu Tho hamlet ( Hoa My Dong commune, Tay Hoa district ) is the forefather of communal houses of most pagodas along the South of Ba River , where lots of monks from every corner gathered on their way to the South to carry on a religious mission. Experiencing the life-long history, with ups and downs, changes, at the moment, the ancient features are appearing vaguely at this ancient pagoda. The most vivid feature is the ancient garden temple aged nearly 10 years, this is the resting in peace and quietness of the Buddhist monk. The particular striking point is the gate of Long Tuong pagoda with a secular tree with wide branches, whose age is even higher than the pagoda’s.

From the year 1996 up to now, the Buddhist monk of Long Tuong pagoda is monk Thich Giac Thanh, a fellow from the homeland of Hoa My Dong. Monk Giac Thanh came here to practice meditation since very early age. He told, “ In Tet 1965, on the way running from enemy, my mom passed away, I was two then. In 1967, my dad took along the three kids into one pagoda in Cam Ranh , living and practicing medication”.

Never before has he joined nay courses in art, but Monk Thich Giac Thanh is the composer of lots of sculpture works with features of winding dragon tails in the ancient pagoda of Long Tuong. The fact that this Monk comes to the art is definitely a fate. “In 1990, when renovating the pagoda, I asked one sculptor from Tuy Hoa city to come to cover with dragon statutes. I mixed the paste, helping him around, and gradually I knew how to make dragon statues”, Monk Gia Thanh recited.

It’s simple to say but it’s true that apart from the talent, the creativity, Monk Giac Thanh did lots of self-teaching. His first-hand work is the sculpture works in the East House of Long Tuong pagoda, then the 17-m long and 1-m high dragon tails, winding from the ground to the feet of Thich Ca Buddhist Monk statute. Monk Giac Thanh shared, “the hardest part of the job is covering the dragon’s head, it requires the necessity to make the head look strong, majestic”. This depends entirely on the imagination and creativity of the monk-artist. Monk Thich Giac Thanh let known that it takes about 1 week for both the master and helper to finish the work but indeed there are lots of things to complete, the actual work takes longer.

After completing the couple of dragons by the Thich Ca Buddhist Statue , Monk Giac Thanh continues with the winding couple of dragon tails right in front of the main gate of Long Tuong Pagoda . Busy as he is but Monk Giac Thanh takes time to care for every minor detail of his work. “ Making statue is only best done when one feels peace in mind, being busy with limps becomes life’s happiness “, Monk Giac Thanh shares.

Source: Phu Yen Newspaper

Translated by HAI LOAN

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