Decorative Mosaics in the Temples and Pagodas

high-definition creative commons photographs from Myanmar, showing the variety of decorations found on the walls, ceilings, pillars and pedestals in the temples.


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One of the most interesting of the many art forms I came across in Myanmar was the mosaic work, which is often a mixture of small mirrors and stained glass or coloured stones that adorn the temples and pagodas throughout the country. The artform is mainly decorative and abstract, and only rarely is there any attempt at figurative work.

In the 29 photographs in this section, and the 22 in the album on the Decorative Mosaics at the Sutaungpyai Pagoda atop Mandalay Hill, only three are figurative.

The work is often geometric is form, consisting of repeating patterns, which may be circular, triangular or rectangular in form, and is intricately woven into the walls, pillars and ceilings of the buildings, especially around the image houses; and is also found on the pedestals of Buddha statues and the like. It ranges in colour from the subdued to the pastel, but even very bright and startling work is found.

Included in the collection here are one or two other works which are decorative, but not mosaic in composition.

Being inspired by the idea I made a digital mosaic based on a photograph of a pedestal mosaic at Shwedagon, Yangon. The mosaic is made up of around 5,000+ images made from 50+ photographs of Buddha statues in the Myanmar collection. If you click on the slide below you can access the high-definition version (2304x3072px 2.5MB), and will be able to see the miniature photographs that it is made from.

Pedestal Mosaic at Shwedagon, Yangon

The picture was made using
an excellent free software from Germany.


Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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