As Good As Vietnam Gets
Dwelling in Peace at But Thap Pagoda
Established in the 13th century and named after its iconic pen-shaped tower in the courtyard, But Thap Pagoda in Bac Ninh Province (30km from Hanoi) is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Vietnam. Many of its wooden Buddhist statues and stone carvings date back to the 17th century.
Artist and Buddhist scholar Phan Cam Thuong lived at But Thap Pagoda for several years in the 1990's, researching the history of the pagoda and Buddhism in Vietnam. Thuong is an art critic, as well as an artist, and he taught many classes at the pagoda in art criticism, calligraphy and woodblock printing. In 1998, he finished his research and published a book on the history of But Thap pagoda. That book is now out of print.
Below is a piece of art depicting the tranquil scenery of But Thap, printed from a woodblock -- a technique for reproducing text, imagery and patterns on textile or paper. This is one of the oldest forms of art and has been widely practiced across Asia throughout the ages.
Phan Cam Thuong
But Thap Pagoda 1999
Woodblock print on Do paper
30cm x 40cm
Limited edition print 4/30