It’s hard to blame artist Chalermchai Kositpipat for giving into his despair after a massive earthquake caused extensive damage to the monumental labor of love which has consumed two decades of his life. After declaring Chiang Rai’s White Temple a total loss to be left in ruins, the 59-yearold artist’s mind was changed today after many locals and tourists poured out to visit the renowned, unique temple that occupies a special place of both spiritual and secular merit.
Instead of abandoning his life’s work, the artist announced he’ll get back to work on Wat Rong Khun to repair the structure, sculptures and paintings damaged by the 6.0 magnitude quake. He estimated those repairs will take him at least two years to complete. Many paintings cannot be repaired, he said. The pieces will have to be repainted completely. Wat Rong Khun is still open for visitors. Only the chapel will be closed due to its severe damage.