And then you did.
Let’s imagine that you had a taste for the macabre, the sombre and the surreal all at the same time. Now you’re beginning to get a sense of what the Black House is like.
The Black House is called Baan Dam in Thai. The artist/creator is Thawan Duchanee, born in Chiang Rai. His style brings out the darkness in humanity. His work uses lots of reds and blacks and he’s not shy about using skins, skulls and animal parts. His artwork is a bit eerie, but I enjoyed it. This guy is certainly out-of-the-box.
You would think the Black House would be a single building, but it’s not. He has a fair bit of land and he’s built several different buildings in various styles. His architectural styles and dimensions, by the way, did not come out of some mail-order blueprint. This guy designed everything from the ground up. Judging by the size of the buildings, their bold nature and their vast size, it looks like he had enough coin that he didn’t have to worry about a tight budget. I didn’t get the sense that this guy knew how to cut corners.
Decorations included an elephant skeleton, a bed sheet made from a brown bear and a torture chamber. Check out the picture of the carving of a man with an erection that, presumably, lasted more than 4 hours!
The place has no religious significance whatsoever. It’s more like a museum/art studio/home that has fascinating examples of architecture, lots of sculptures and that reflects Duchanee’s own personal style of art. It’s an eclectic mix of really interesting ‘stuff.’ There’s a lot to see. It’s free, and you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the place for a couple of hours. You’re not going to love everything you see, so treat your visit as a thought-provoking excursion for the afternoon. You can take as many pictures as you’d like, of anything you choose (which is definitely NOT the case at the Buddhist temples). Furthermore, you can even keep your shoes on!!
Click the thumbnails for larger images and a slide show!
Photos by Jan Wall – all rights reserved