Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fo-Guang Si 佛光寺(3)- Manjusri Hall 文殊殿 and Garan Hall 珈藍殿

Before we go further, one thing which was not made clear in the previous blogs, is that all these Chinese wood buildings did not use a single nail. All joints were built with notches that fit together. It is important to keep this in mind when we look at these magnificent 1000 year old buildings.

Manjusri Hall (Figure 1) houses the leading disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was said to be the wisest among all disciples, and is widely worshipped in China. This hall was built in 1137 during Jin era (parallel to South Song Dynasty). The structural design had advanced truss system (Figure 2) reducing the number of interior column by 12. Notice the increased depth of truss-like beam on the right hand side of the picture. That enabled the large interior span. The interior space is even more impressive. The corbel bracket (Figure 3) evolved to include 45 degree fan-out design. They are more decorative than the austere elegance of Tang bracket. The clay figures inside (Figure 4) were painted with more golden and reddish colors. They give a more harmonious feeling as opposed to Tang color scheme of contrasting primary colors.

Garan Hall (Figure 5) was built in late Ming around 1630 and was rebuilt partially again during Kang-Xi period (1700) in early Qing . It is the smallest hall among three major halls. The bracket system (Figure 6) and the painting around them had already shown the decorative style of Ming-Qing buildings. This particular hall still maintains the simple yet dignifying elegance, in keeping with the rest of the buildings in the compound. Some late Qing buildings and present day reinforced concrete imitations are vulgar and decadent.

文殊殿 (圖1) 供奉文殊菩薩。 文殊是釋迦佛的大弟子, 也是最有智慧的弟子, 在中國被廣泛地供奉。 這個殿是金朝(1137年) 建的。 當時的木結構已經進步到使用桁架(圖2), 叫做“減柱造”。注意到圖的右邊 橫梁桁架整體的厚度。 這就是為何可以“減柱”的原因。 圖3 的斗拱已經從唐朝簡潔的設計,演化到使用比較有裝飾性的45度設計。裡面的佛像(圖4)使用比較調和的金和暗紅色, 已不像唐佛像的鮮明了。

珈藍殿(圖5)是在明末1630時造的,康熙時(1700)重修。 這是3大殿中較小的一個。 看看斗拱和周遭的彩畫,已經看到清代非常裝飾性的作風了。 不過這殿仍然保持全寺莊靜高雅的風格。 不像晚清的華麗風格。 看到有一些現在用鋼筋混凝土的仿造“木”建築, 真有慘不忍睹的感覺。

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