HANOI – Many details in Tieu Dao Pagoda are decorated with ceramics, expressing the essence of the traditional craft village of Bat Trang.
Located in Giang Cao village, Bat Trang commune, Gia Lam district, Hanoi, where there is a famous ceramic profession, Tieu Dao pagoda was built during the Tran dynasty (1226-1400). The pagoda has undergone many renovations and embellishments and currently has an area of about 8,300 m2, according to the Giang Cao Village Relics Management Subcommittee.
After a long period of war and destruction, in 2011, the pagoda was repaired. Since then, the elite ceramic products of Bat Trang craft village have gradually been brought into the worship space, interior and exterior of the temple.
Local artisans now decorate the temple gate (photo) with the steps of tiling and assembling each small, individually designed ceramic piece.
Through the temple gate, enter the main yard, on both sides are two compartments worshiping the Eighteen Arhats. Each room has 9 statues placed on the background of a mountain cloud painting stretching across 3 sides of the room, about 60 m2 wide. Statues, murals, and altar borders (photo) are all crafted and assembled from ceramics.
Outside the altar of the Eighteen Arhats are pillars decorated with curving blue dragon motifs made of ceramic.
Looking up from the middle of the yard is the entrance to the main hall of Tam Bao Palace. The painting in the style of Om mani (a mantra in Tibetan Buddhism) assembled from colorful ceramic pieces is one of the temple’s unique works. The painting is about 2×2 m in size, placed on the steps also covered with green ceramic pieces.
The Three Jewels Palace is decorated with ceramic motifs with three main colors: blue, red and yellow. On the pillars are ceramic paintings of lotus flowers, chrysanthemums, and bamboo trees. These are popular motifs in Vietnamese Buddhist architecture.
The main hall of Tam Bao Hall has two dharma guardian statues cast in one piece of ceramic, each 2.5 m high, taking more than a year to complete. This is also a unique product, creating a unique feature for the temple and demonstrating the quintessence of craft village artisans.
The two guardian statues that were first released from the kiln were sagging, broken, and cracked in some details due to changes in the kiln of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius, so they had to be redone, spending a lot of time, effort, and money, Ms. Truong Thuy said. Thanh (dharma name Hanh Lien), in charge of practice activities at the temple, said.
Behind the main hall of Tam Bao is the Patriarch’s Church with four Le Dynasty dragon statues placed on the steps in front of the door. The material used to decorate the Ancestral Church is mainly porcelain with the main color of cockroach.
In the worship space there are 9 statues made of ceramic. In the middle of the shrine is the statue of Buddha Emperor Tran Nhan Tong. On the altar there are two vials of blessings (bottles with images of children, symbolizing good fortune) also made of ceramic donated by the people of Bat Trang craft village.
The waiting room has 5 ceramic paintings about the law of cause and effect (above) and a lotus pond painting with ancient and elegant beauty assembled from many ceramic pieces (below).
All the temple roof blades are made of ceramic, carved with dragon images and sunflower motifs underneath. In the temple, there are many statues of dragons, unicorns, fish and large statues recreating the daily life scenes of noble people, all made of ceramic.
Monk Thich Bao Duc, abbot of Tieu Dao Pagoda since 2013, has contributed a lot in gradually turning the pagoda into a “museum of the craft village”. Based on the monk’s ideas, people contribute experience, techniques and funds to design and complete each project. To date, the pagoda has nearly 80 ceramic statues, in addition to wall paintings, decorative motifs, and miniature scenes recreating the daily life scenes of enlightened masters (photo).
“Tieu Dao means freedom. Buddhists and tourists coming to the temple can feel purity, freedom, and no worries,” Ms. Thanh said.
Photo,Video: Internet (Vinlove.net)