CMU Lighting Technology Illuminates Chedi Luang’s Glorious Past

14 September 2022

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

         In Lost and Found: The Missing Moment Experience, CMU’s lighting technology brings back the glorious past of the Chedi Luang Pagoda that hasn’t been seen for almost five centuries.

         The lighting innovation experiment brings together religion and technology, resulting in a spectacular sight with a touch of modernity. The laser is projected to fill in the missing piece at the top of the pagoda, fulfilling the shape and height of the pagoda during its days of glory 500 years ago.

         Chedi Luang is the tallest pagoda in the Northern region with an original height of 70 metres (based on the shape and the height as well as from evidence, legends, and hypotheses by Lanna scholars) and a 60x60 metre square base. It was built at the beginning of the 20th Buddhist era during Phaya Seanmuengma’s reign. Then, 477 years ago a major earthquake hit and caused the top to collapse, thus reducing its height to 40 metres.

         This experiment, involving lighting technology, originated from a fundamental question — How can we revive a historic site in a way that is relevant to the contemporary world? With the lighting technology that would give the audience an immersive experience, it is hoped that younger generations will see historic sites in a new light and engage with them more. This project could show a way to bring back cultural heritages and make them relevant in the present context.

        The technique is laser projection to fill in the missing top of the pagoda. It creates a space on top of the pagoda, drawing a virtual line that depicts the pagoda in its excellent condition. This allows locals and tourists alike to experience the beauty of the pagoda as it once was 500 years ago.

        Lost and Found: The Missing Moment Experience is organized by the CMU Faculty of Architecture’s Centre of Architectural Research & Academic Services (CARAS) and the Creative Lanna Innovation Centre (CLIC), in collaboration with the National Innovation Agency (NIA), the Lanna Architecture Centre, the College of Art, Media and Technology (CAMT), CMU Creative Lanna, CMU Science and Technology Park (STeP) and Wat Chedi Luang, which has driven the Awaken KHUM for Innovative and Creative Economy in Chiang Mai.

        The exhibition Lost and Found: The Missing Moment Experience is held every Sunday until September 25, 2022, from 8 – 10 pm at Wat Chedi Luang Temple.