Work be­gins on huge Bud­dhist devel­op­ment in Canada

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By YAN YIQI in Hangzhou and XIAO LIXIN in Bei­jing

Assem­bly work on the Wu­tai Shan Bud­dhist Gar­dens replica of the main Dharma Hall of the Tang Dy­nasty (618-907) has be­gun and when com­pleted, the project will be­come the cen­ter­piece of the largest Bud­dhist com­plex out­side of China.

The Bud­dhist As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada is build­ing the Wu­tai Shan Bud­dhist Gar­dens in Peter­bor­ough, On­tario, Canada, us­ing lum­ber milled in China. Peter­bor­ough is lo­cated about 78 miles north­east of Toronto.

The as­so­ci­a­tion first ini­ti­ated the plan in 2003 to repli­cate the four most sa­cred Bud­dhist Moun­tains in China, Wu­tai Moun­tain, Pu­tuo Moun­tain, Emei Moun­tain and Ji­uhua Moun­tain. It be­gan with Wu­tai Moun­tain with a to­tal in­vest­ment of $32 mil­lion.

It took three years for the as­so­ci­a­tion to re­view con­struc­tion com­pa­nies that spe­cial­ize in an­cient repli­ca­tion be­fore se­lect­ing the Ningbo Jin­luban Car­pen­try Co of China, which has done sim­i­lar work in the past.

The project will pre­serve the all- tim­ber­work Tang Dy­nasty style and no bricks or nails will be used, ac­cord­ing to Guo Yongyao, chair­man of the con­struc­tion com­pany. Tim­ber pil­lars are se­cured to pass the weight down to the foun­da­tion base. Ac­cord­ing to ar­chi­tec­tural ob­servers, this con­struc­tion method can help a build­ing re­sist an 8-mag­ni­tude earthquake — mean­ing an earthquake that could de­stroy an en­tire com­mu­nity.

Main parts of the project are es­ti­mated to con­sume about 2,800 cu­bic me­ters of rose­wood, 200 cu­bic me­ters of cam­phor­wood and 300 cu­bic me­ters of cedar, all painted with 5 tons of nat­u­ral raw lac­quer for cor­ro­sion pre­ven­tion, crack con­trol and moth proof­ing, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion.

By April, the con­struc­tion of the wooden pieces for the gar­dens was fin­ished in the com­pany’s fac­tory in Ningbo, Zhe­jiang province, af­ter seven years of work and then shipped to Toronto. It will take more than 10 work­ers and another five years to as­sem­ble them, ac­cord­ing to Guo.

“Once the work com­pletes, we can ap­pre­ci­ate in Canada the ar­chi­tec­tural ac­cent of unique tim­ber con­struc­tion which pre­vailed in the Tang Dy­nasty a thou­sand years ago,” said Shi Dayi, pres­i­dent of the Bud­dhist As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada.

The orig­i­nal tem­ples in Wu­tai Moun­tain­inChinarep­re­sen­tChina’s best pre­served Tang Dy­nastystyle tim­ber con­struc­tion.

“We should be proud to show the world how mag­nif­i­cent our cul­ture is. The Cana­dian tem­ple project is one chan­nel to ex­port our Bud­dhism cul­ture, ar­chi­tec­tural cul­ture and car­pen­try skills,” said Guo, who be­lieves that the beauty of tra­di­tional Chi­nese art should be shared around the world. Con­tact the writ­ers at yany­iqi@ chi­ and xi­aolixin@chi­

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