Khun Chalermchai Khositpipat is a famous Thai artist. I am not well versed in art or art history, but his painting style reminds me a great deal of Salvador Dali. However, Khun Chalermchai deals almost exclusively with Buddhist themed works. I use the term "almost exclusively" because I know that he has done at least one painting of the King of Thailand.
Khun Khositpipat style, in my opinion, utilizes very bright colors, intricate composition, and sharp details. There is a certain degree of surrealism in his work but not to the extent of Dali.
In 1998 he started construction of Wat Rong Khun. He no longer sells his works and has used his personal fortune to finance the creation of his offering to Buddha and the Thai nation. He is often seen at the construction site motivating and inspiring the workers. The day that we visited the Wat we inadvertently became involved with him.
I listened to his interview and was fascinated by his vision and goal. He indicated that he was tired of living. He did not mean that he wanted to die now but that he was tired of the Buddhist concept of reincarnation where by he was continually being born, dying, and being reborn until he reaches the point of enlightenment when it will stop. As part of he progress towards achieving enlightenment, he was earning merit in this life by building this exquisite Buddhist Temple.
Typical of Thai Buddhist temples, the concept motivating the design and construction of Wat Rong Khun is to depict Heaven on Earth. What is striking about Wat Rong Khun is its brilliant white color and reflective surfaces. The white color symbolizes the purity of Buddha while the reflective glass mirrors represent Buddha's wisdom spreading truths and shining all around the world as well as the six types of rays that emanate from Buddha's body.
There will be 9 buildings each with their own distinctive architectural style when the complex is completed. Although each building will be different they will all have Buddhist meanings. Included in his grand plan is to build the most beautiful toilet in the world. Khun Khositpipat estimates that it will take 90 years to complete the project. Although he will be gone before the project's completion, he is leaving plans and instructions to ensure it is finished according to his vision. Part of his involvement in supervising the daily construction is to train local artisians, architects, and designers. These people and the ones who follow them will continue his work to completion.