The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis book review: ‘Myanmar Buddha: The Image and Its History’ by Somkiart Lopetcharat

Written By: herbrunbridge - May• 27•13

MyanmarBuddhaBookThis very fine and comprehensive book on Burmese Buddha images is generally available only in Southeast Asia, so we here at WoWasis would advise putting it on your shopping list for your next trip. Somkiart Lopetcharat’s Myanmar Buddha: The Image and Its History (2007, ISBN 978-974-09-6065-2) carries a suggested retail price of $85 USD, and for collectors, researchers, and historians, it’s worth it. This handsome book is 503 pages long and has hundreds of color pictures of Buddha statues, in marble, wood, metal, and papier-mâché, dating from the pre-Christian era to the twentieth century. It also contains a chapter on Nat images, and an additional one on other items, such as hsun-ok lacquerware.

The book contains a comprehensive history of Myanmar, covering its kings and eras, and the separate kingdoms of Mon, Arakan, Tai Yai. The images are keyed to kingdoms, eras, and localities. The main fault with this book is a small one, as several of the pictures are fuzzy, a registration problem that should have been corrected in the proofs. We would have liked to have seen more on the carving and construction of these images, as well. Burmese Buddha images are among the most stunning in Southeast Asia, and for now, this is the go-to book for understanding the breadth of the art form.

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  1. We bought our in Bangkok at Asia Books on Sukhumvit. If you can find the book on their website, ask if they’ll ship it to you:

  2. Nikolas van de Weyer says:

    Myanmar Buddha: The Image and Its History
    I am searching for this book to buy and shipping to Germany

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