Northern Thailand is the region where many great artists reside and create their art works. During my stay in Chiang Rai, I have visited a few places that exhibit the artworks of the great artists of Chiang Rai.  The first place belongs to the artist whose architectural work is dominated by black color. The second place is a ceramic gallery that employs traditional method to produce beautiful ceramic products. The last one is a religious sanctuary restored by a painter who turns an unknown temple into a spectacular piece of art.

The ‘Black House’, known as Baan Dum, has been a popular place of visit by local tourists recently. It is a home, studio and museum of the late national artist – Dr. Thawan Duchanee (1939-2014). The piece of land is dotted with various Thailand’s northern style buildings mostly made from woods and clay and painted in black of which become the name of the place. The dark and sombre looking structures may not be for everyone’s taste but it is amazing place to see the artist’s artistic expressions. Some structures are painted in dark red and white. Each building displays art objects, paintings, animal skulls and skins.

Located on the route between Chiang Rai town center and Mae Sai border (the Golden Triangle), it is a perfect stop for a short visit.  The house opens daily from 9 am till 5 pm.  No admission fee.

Address:
414, Moo 13, Pahonyothin Road,
Nang Lae Sub District, Muang District,
Chiang Rai 57100.
Open Daily from 9 am – 5 pm (close noon – 1 pm)

Buildings in Black House in contemporary northern style

Buildings in Black House in contemporary northern style

Not very far from the Black House is a charming pottery house called Doy Din Dang, which means the ‘red peak’. The name is to indicate Chiang Rai’s mountainous terrain and its reddish soil that is a main material used in making pottery. Established in 1991 by a local Chiang Rai ceramic artist, Mr. Somluk Pantiboon, this studio and home showcases unique styles of ceramics. Somluk uses traditional method of ceramic making to product modern ceramic works. He uses natural graze made from ashes of woods, leaves, rice stalk, bamboo, etc.  These natural grazes deliver a variety of colors that blend harmoniously on the products that are unique to this place. Here, you will see an exhibition of decorative objects and tableware.

There is a small coffee shop and a discount store to sell the products too.

Address:
49 Moo 6, Baan Pa Oor, Pahonyotin Road,
Nang Lae Sub District, Muang District,
Chiang Rai 57100.
Tel. 66 53 705 291
Location: www.dddpottery.com

A corner in Ceramics Gallery at Doy Din Dang

A corner in Ceramics Gallery at Doy Din Dang

The last place to visit is something out of ordinary. It was once an unknown temple restored by a painter who turned a religious sanctuary into a fascinating work of art. Wat Rong Khun, or famously known among foreign tourists as the ‘White Temple, attracts hundreds of local worshippers and international tourists on a daily basis. Restored by a Thai national artist (painter), Mr. Chalermchai Kositpipat, the temple is now famed for all-white buildings and eccentric mural paintings. The temple compound also includes elaborate sculptures of demons and mythical creatures in the heaven and the hell realms.

Some structures in the temple were damaged by the earthquake in May 5, 2014. Restoration work is already underway and the temple is open for public every day. No admission fee.

Wat Rong Khun - White Temple, one of tourist landmarks of Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Khun – White Temple, one of tourist landmarks of Chiang Rai