Chinese Art within Thai Temples in Malaysia: The Disappearance of Thai Art

  •  Punya Tepsing    


The identity of Thai temples in Malaysia is disappearing, as the temples display more Chinese art than Thai.Thus, this research aims to investigate the patterns in Chinese art and the conditions that support the appearanceof Chinese art within Thai temples. Chinese art appears within these temples in their sculptures of Buddha,pavilions, and walls. The conditions supporting the appearance of Chinese art include 1) the need for funds toconstruct new temples; 2) the abilities of pastors who can speak Chinese and English and are interested in artfrom various countries; and 3) the eastern coast of Malaysia being a place where many people of Chinesedescent settled. Chinese people were not able to purchase land easily due to state laws; thus, they had to use Thaitemples as places to preserve their identity by constructing Chinese art within the temple.

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