Phuoc Hai pagoda
Covering an area of 2,300sq.m, Phuoc Hai Pagoda, or Ngoc Hoang (the Jade Emperor) Pagoda in the past, in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City was built around the turn of the 20th century on the foundation of the old Minh Su Pagoda.
Phuoc Hai Pagoda is one of the older pagodas of the Chinese community in Southern Vietnam. It worships the Jade Emperor, Bodhisattvas and gods, showing the crystallization of the main ideas of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, but later the pagoda mainly followed Buddhist ideas.
With unique architectural and artistic values, Phuoc Hai Pagoda has been recognized as a national architectural and artistic relic.
It has a beautiful composition, with the central part being a system of lower, middle and upper shrines surrounded by corridors, creating a private and solemn atmosphere. The main doorframes are made of stone blocks, which are delicately carved. All architectural parts, big or small, have symmetric compositions and look delicate, but they are durable.
The pagoda reflects a unique carving art. Most decorative patterns, adapted from Chinese references are stylized with delicate lines showing a harmonious combination of handicraft technique and decorative art.
One of the typical artistic values of Phuoc Hai Pagoda is the art of making statues with pasteboard, which is shown in 57 statues in the pagoda. From the statue’s clothes, figure, appearance and postures to the facial feature, large forehead and bright eyes, all look lively reflecting different nuances of the statues’ sentiment.
Now the art of making statues with pasteboard has been lost and these statues of hundreds of years old have been preserved as precious assets.
Every day, a lot of domestic and foreign visitors visit Phuoc Hai Pagoda to pray for achieving successes in life and happiness, or simply to behold the mysterious beauty and ancient architecture of the pagoda.
(Source: Vietnam Pictorial, URL:http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/08/798035/)