Lek Viriyaphant and Development of Ancient City
“Thai culture, together with ancient Thai lives, flourished in the past. Should we be able to preserve it with wisdom and thorough understanding, our today and tomorrow would be embraced with enduringly precious meanings.
The question is ‘How has such glorious culture been in decline?’
Is it because of our ignorance or is there any other reason of more significance behind this?
After due consideration, it’s seen that the gloomily declined Thai culture is caused by the fact that no one has properly disseminated the pinnacle essence of Thai culture to the general public in a simple way so they can easily understand and adapt it to their contemporary conditions and lifestyle.
Consequently, when most people are not given any chance to access and understand their own country’s cultural heritage, how can they appreciate and be proud of it?
Being aware of this, we should set out now.
Therefore, we, with a mission on Thai culture, should make every effort to advocate all activities in this field.”
Dawn of Inspiration
Having been interested in art since childhood, Lek Viriyaphant was inspired to establish the Ancient City. Initially, he intended to build a Thai-map shaped golf course where miniatures of important national ancient sites were placed on certain spots within the area, so as to serve tourism and educational purposes only.
Learning from the Past
As an earnest man, Lek started doing research on the establishment of the Ancient City by himself. He, then, found that many of ancient sites have been left in decay. Thus, he changed the concept of the Ancient City from being a tourism attraction and relaxation to an open-air museum for educational purpose.
“The Sanphet Prasat Palace” is regarded as the masterpiece of Ancient City. Actually, there are only a few evidences left about the throne hall and only the ruins of its building in Ayutthaya has been found. However, Lek, with his strong will, engaged in research and used his imagination to create the miniature one, which, as a result, formed a turning point that makes Ancient City completely free from being simply a miniature city as original definition.
Elegant Art D?cor
“The Phra Kaew Pavilion” and “the Dusit Maha Prasat Palace” are another two highlights displaying Lek’s idea and artistic development. Challenged by certain artistic details and architectural feature, he proved himself an expert on ancient art work.
Architecture through Imagination
The remotest area of the field, Plai Na, is the latest piece of land of the Ancient City which served for the establishment of many architectural works by Lek during the rest of his life. These works reflect his extraction of architectural essence from his long-gathered experiences which fully reveal his unconventional creativity.
Concrete of Oriental Philosophy
Through times, Lek has continually been creating art work in the Ancient City as well as “The Sanctuary of Truth” in Pattaya and “The Erawan Museum” in Samut Prakan until the end of his life on November 17, 2000.
Woven consciousness of Thai Heritage
Although Lek has passed away, Ancient City still exists, adhering to his original attention to make the place serve for educational purpose to benefit newer generations who would be proud of their national heritage.
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