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Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia

 

Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia
Samui Cultural Center And Fine Art Of Southeast Asia

Samui Cultural Center and Fine Art of Southeast Asia which tourists and residents prefer to call simply Samui Cultural Center has opened recently. The first statues and figurines of elephants could be seen at this place around 2010.

Initially it all resembled a regular workshop where garden sculptures were made to order, but at some point there appeared a signboard at the entrance notifying that this place was Cultural Center of Samui.

At the same time there was also a box for donations, in which visitors could put as much as they see fit. Over time, the donation box started showing "rates" - last time we checked it was 150 baht per person. But as the payment was not obligatory and not everyone could see the box (the box and a piece of paper with the tariff may not be noticed at first glance), we suspect that not everybody were paying the entrance fee as they should have..

It is considered that the Cultural Center is still in the process of construction, though it has been awhile since it started, and up till the recent date (2014) it has stopped at all (and sometimes even reversed backwards - without due care in the center there comes desolation and destruction). So we assume it will remain in that state until there will be a major investor and a person capable of bringing this really interesting project to its conclusion.

And this is the information that appeared in 2012. The original article is here.

Khun Chart was born and raised on Samui and has nursed the idea for the Cultural Center from an early age. “Growing up, I was always interested in the history and heritage of my country. But on Samui there was nowhere to find out more than the little we learned at school. I loved looking at the different designs on local temples and studying the images, but I didn’t really know what they signified or what their origins were. I was determined to learn all I could and some day open a place on the island that children, and adults, could come along to and understand more about our heritage.

It was a subject he wanted to study at university but his parents were keen for him to get a more practical education and so he graduated with honours in Business and IT. “Mum and dad only wanted the best for me and they were paying for my time at university. But every spare minute I had I was reading up on architecture, Thai history, visiting temples, expanding my knowledge and buying artefacts. I took trips around the country, especially up north, and that led to many trips abroad. The history of Southeast Asia is all about cultural influence. Iconic Buddhist and Hindu images have been interpreted in different ways at various points in history. Even in Bangkok you can see the styles of Thai, Burmese, Indonesian, Balinese, Laotian, Cambodian and Chinese builders and designers. So what started off as an interest in Thai history and culture really became a study of the whole of Southeast Asia.”

Once he returned to Samui, Khun Chart forged ahead with his plans. He had a seven rai plot of land in Lipa Noi that he earmarked for the site. That’s 2.8 acres or 11,200 square metres, which is more than one and a half times the size of the Wembley Stadium football pitch.

And as he was wholly self-financing, there are no government grants available, he had to sell off another plot of land he owned and use what was left of his savings. First of all he built an incredible house for some of his collection. It’s created around natural rocks and built from local timber and is now more of a grand museum than a home. The grounds are covered in fruit trees and dotted with salas and chedis to hold many of the Buddha images he has collected and those he has made himself. And this is just the start.
“The entrance tells people that there’s something special going on here. And I’ve made all of the statues myself. They depict gods and angels from all the cultures of the region and relate to myths and legends told and re-told down through the centuries. In time I’ll have written information available, but I’m more than happy to chat with visitors and take them on a tour of the house. Each piece has a story to tell and is significant in its own way.”

So when will the Cultural Center be complete? “Never” he says “because I’ll never stop collecting or recreating the images from our history. And hopefully local folks and visitors will never stop wanting to learn about what I’ve created here.”

Now in August 2014 and it has been for quite some time, the entrance to the museum is closed. And it's really sad, because there were some interesting exhibits (some of them can be seen in the photo on this article). You can enter the territory of the Cultural Center, all the statues are where they should be, but it seems, no one is taking care about them and there are no new statues as well..

By and large, there is not much to do in there, except that you need a photo shoot on Samui - you will have some really nice professional photos there. Note that the area of the Center of Culture is very green, and because of the abundance of tropical vegetation the area is very humid and is full of mosquitoes. Even in the heat of the day when it is hot and there should not be any..


Samui Cultural Center is located in the area of Tong Yang beach, Google-coordinate 9.507929, 99.938629.

Addition to the information from January 2015:

Tourists are now being brought here by buses, there is an entrance fee - 80 baht.
In front of the Cultural Center there has been built a new car park, one of the buildings is now complete, the other one had its roof repaired. That is, the work here has recently been resumed.
And it's still one of the most beautiful places on Samui, where you can make some great photos!


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