THE BLACK HOUSE, CHIANG RAI

The Black House or the Baan Dam Museum is a characteristic creation by the eccentric artist Thawan Duchanee. In part art studio, museum and house, Baan Dam is a complex of traditional Thai houses mixed with some modern and grotesque buildings. The Black House is a combination of dark, surrealistic and funny feeling. Maybe some people can’t appreciate some of the artistic works of Duchanee, for sure isn’t a place for animal-rights activists.

The Black House isn’t just one structure but a collection of forty buildings with various forms and dimensions. The houses are collocates in a very big and lovely garden.

The biggest house is close to the main entrance and express exactly the essence of all the museum complex. Traditional and elegant the outside, with multi-level roof and stylized naga reminiscent of a Buddhist temple. The use of honey-colored teak is very beautiful and the sculpted portals are remarkable, which alone are works of art. Inside the house there are four huge tables made of solid wood with crocodileskins as a table cover. The appearance is almost cavernous with a quite dark style. The chairs are made by bones, skulls, buffalo horns, and others animals.

In addiction there are sculpted woods and many objects collected by the artist.

We can observe the uses of bones, skulls and animal skins everywhere in Baan Dam and represent Thawan Duchanee’s much debated interpretation of Buddhist philosophy.

In the garden you can admire other smaller buildings in traditional Thai style. There are also white concrete buildings in eccentric style.

Visiting the Black House and the White Temple were the best things that I done in Chiang Rai!

If you are looking to do something different and maybe weird, just visiting this museum complex.

G.F

 

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