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Two Aspects of Buddhist Iconography in Thailand

Photo credit: Journal of Siam Society


In Buddhist iconography of Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, the Buddha is often represented through different “aspects” or “attitudes”, known in Thai as “paang” (ปาง). Each of the aspects depict the Buddha is different posture and/or situation, often meant to convey Buddhist legends or attributes of the Buddha. Through studying the art of Buddha’s aspects, one can examine religious views of the past and the present. One can also see how the depiction of each aspect has been adapted across different communities and time period, demonstrating openness and creativity in creating art. Today, we take you to view two depictions of the Buddha in ancient Thailand – 1) The Descent from the Tusita Heaven and 2) The Birth – comparing them with other examples in the region.


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Author: J.J. Boeles


* This article was published in the Journal of Siam Society and is being shared on the Thailand Foundation Website with permission from The Siam Society.