BANGKOK, THAILAND, March 14, 2017 (South China Morning Post): Thailand's best craftsmen are hard at work producing monuments to King Rama IX. "The graceful walk of Ratchasi (a mythical lion) implies that Thai people must move on after our late King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away," said sculptor Nopparat Bunmee.
Craftsmen are now hard at work at the sculptural hall of the Fine Arts Department's Traditional Arts Office in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Sharing the same working space are a dozen artisans assigned to create more than 500 sculptures for decorating Phra Merumat, the palace-like structure where the royal urn will be housed at the royal cremation later this year.
One of the eye-catching sculptures is a 9 foot tall Hindu God Narayana, which also has some facial features of the late king. Based on traditional beliefs, the king is an avatar of Narayana. Next to the Narayana sculpture is a 6.5 foot tall sculpture of one of four heavenly kings known in Thai as Thao Chatulokkaban, a 6.5 foot tall standing Garuda, which is Narayana's vehicle, a seated angel, sacred oxen and Kotchasi, the mythical elephant.