Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Buddhist Sins at Haw Par Villa, Singapore

As if Wewurukannala temple in Sri Lanka was not gruesome enough, we visited the old Haw Par Villa in Singapore this morning and saw some of the equally weird statues and tableaux that populate the state run site.

This is Pigsy (Zhu Bajie) is one of several mythological characters that populate Haw Par villa in Singapore

Being of Buddhist origin, the stories depicted at Haw Par are mostly children's stories and fairy tales from various teachings. It also has a chamber of horrors called the Ten Courts of Hell (which features a warning at the gate that children have to be accompanied by an adult) depicting the fate of anyone that commits various sins.  Like the temple in Sri Lanka, sinners' fates usually end up in some form of dismemberment, stabbing, burning or drowning (the latter in a wok of hot oil). I thought it more gruesome than Wewurukannala. Here are a few HDR and Grungtastic'd shots that I found particularly illustrative...

A village scene where a careless boy hase been knocked down on the road and his brains are oozing out of his head.
Moralistic cop is reprimanding the careless driver while the Malay father looks on in horror.
The concerned mother runs into the scene in vain.
I think this is the penalty for damaging Buddhist books or some such erroneous practice.
Seriously, I think being sawn in half is a bit steep...
Just after the warning that kiddies should not go in without an adult, you see a group of heads stuck onto the (fake) rocks in the garden.
Very crude but still quite unnerving. HDR brings out the best textures...
Two seemingly drug-addled pandas
Don't feed the bears.
Moral of the tale of two boys lost in the woods is "A real friend won;t leave you in the lurch...".
Knife in the head
Moral of this story is, I think, three Panadol are better than two.

A rat emergency
Paramedic rats take a seriously gnawed case to ratty hospital.
One of the denizens of the underworld there to deal with moral miscreants
One of the less threatening statues at Haw Par Villa
My favourite: gluttony, punished with a quick stake through the gut.
The fat Buddha is one of the most recognisable of all the Chinese figures,
at least to a Westerner, in the gardens.
Haw Par gardens is the brainchild of the Aw brothers (Boon Haw and Boon Par),
two Chinese businessmen of Burmese origin, who made their considerable fortune from
Tiger Balm. 
Being Buddhists, they practised philanthropy.
Haw Par villa was built in Singapore while in Hong Kong they built Tiger Balm Gardens


  1. Nice article shared and having impressive contents. There are available various photography technique. By using the latest software and techniques, photography classes are conducted in a fun and creative learning manner.