I’m not a huge fan of dead animal carcasses, and PETA would kill people at the sight of this place. The Black House comes from the imaginarium of Thawan Duchanee, once a student of White Temple artist, Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. His art studies, however, may have spun far awry from Khositphiphat’s teachings, hinted at in the name of his project. As much as White Temple is stunning and witty, Black House is ominous and biting.
Just north of Chiang Rai University and on a soi marked only by the artist’s name, lies this massive plot of land containing numerous black wooden houses, a black submarine, and 3 white pagoda-style bubbles. Carcasses and skins drape the interior of the dark entrance hall and you’ll love the snakes! Smaller wooden houses are spread around the land and even bathrooms are heavily garnished in Duchanee’s twisted visions.
Phalluses are ever-present and come in all sizes and shapes. He must have been an 8% child (Superbad). Bones just seem to be thrown about or decorated around a particularly ugly piece of taxidermy. Antique rifles were showcased outside amongst a heap of wooden furniture. Basically everything is black and dark brown, except for the perfectly manicured green lawn and rock gardens and 3 oddly placed white bubbles.
Why white within all the black? Maybe it’s a sort of farce. Seemingly heavenly, the bubbles are an entrapment with yet more dead things and grotesque scenes and you can scream as loud as you want, but your only voice will echo back. Claustrophobia ah!
To quote the great Alexander McQueen,
It’s the ugly things I notice more because other people tend to ignore ugly things.
He had a brilliant talent for making the ugly beautiful, which Duchanee has, too, embraced.