Century-old Saigon pagoda’s dazzling pottery collection

Created 12 September 2018
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​Phap Hoa Pagoda has 10,000 pieces from various cultures and ages.
Century-old Saigon pagodas dazzling pottery collection

Century-old Saigon pagodas dazzling pottery collection

Phap Hoa Pagoda, built in 1928, is situated in an alley off Thich Quang Duc Street in HCMC’s Phu Nhuan District. It follows the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. The pagoda used to look quite rustic with a simple straw roof until it got a complete makeover in 1993. Today it consists of a main hall, a dining hall, a Da Bao tower, and a medical room.

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The head of the pagoda, who has a deep interest in ceramics, has for long been collecting them. Now there are 10,000 pottery artifacts, which have got the pagoda recognition from the Vietnam Records Book Center.

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Ceramics in various colors, patterns and sizes are preserved in the pagoda’s storeroom.

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Most of these ceramics are from renowned pottery centers like Bat Trang, Bien Hoa, Binh Duong, and Chu Dau, while some came from China and Japan.

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The pottery items are used in various places around the pagoda as decoration near Buddha idols.

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The ceramic items are used around the pagoda as decoration. There are over 50 pieces of various sizes in the main hall, while the room has 500. The artworks are also displayed in other places like the lecture hall and memorial room, or nha to (a shrine for monks who pass away).  

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Four grand vases are placed in the most sacred place in the main hall. More than two meters tall, they originated from the Jiangxi province of China.

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The pots and cups from Vietnamese pottery villages are carefully preserved in glass closets.

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A pot from Cham ethnic dating from the 19th century is displayed in the living room.

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The pagoda also has many other pieces including ceramic Buddha statues, candlesticks, pots and cups. In particular, there are two outstanding artworks of nghe (an imaginative animal in Vietnamese culture which resembles lion and dog) crafted by Vietnamese artisans two centuries ago.

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Besides the grand Buddha idol, two smaller sized ones are also placed in the center of the main hall. These date back to the time of King Qianlong (1735 – 1796) of the Qing Dynasty in China.

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The pagoda also has the first ever Lotus Sutra, an important Buddhist scripture, that was carved on stone in Vietnam. It features nearly 70,000 Vietnamese words - white letters engraved on black granite - arranged in a harmonious structure.

In 2015, Phap Hoa Pagoda was recognized as a historical site by HCMC.


Source: VNE

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