Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just finished reading this fascinating book, The Fate of Rural Hell: Asceticism and Desire in Buddhist Thailand by Benedict Anderson (Seagull Books, 2012).  It's about an extraordinary sculpture garden at a huge temple complex called Wat Phai Rong Wua in rural Thailand.

The sculpture garden attempts to portray what hell is like.  It features an assortment of naked figures being tortured for their sins.  Typically there is explanatory writing on the figure. On the belly of the figure depicted above, an inscription reads:  "He did not fear sin."

The images are all life size or larger.  Often disturbing.  Sometimes erotic.  This site shows a number of images from the temple.


  1. I've been toying with buying this, Tom. Is it illustrated?

  2. Yes, it is illustrated.
    And that's the best part.

  3. Then my order goes in right now ... Thanks ,Tom.

  4. Let me know what you think about it, John.