Asia’s Strangest Sculpture Garden: Buddha Meets Hieronymus Bosch

Photo © Russell Johnson

I look up at this scary figure clutching a fainted woman. Why do I think of King Kong and Fay Wray? Actually, Kong protected the fainty blonde bombshell in much the same way this Nyak is probably guarding his young charge. In Lao and Thai mythology, Nyaks are figures that protect temples.

But this isn’t where the symbolism stops in perhaps the strangest sculpture garden in Asia.


The Way to Shangri-la? (Video)

Gossip, Shangri-la
Gossip: Dukezong, China © Russell Johnson

The ancient town of Dukezong in Yunnan Province, China was destroyed by fire this month. More than 232 houses were lost and hundreds of families displaced. Dukezong was an historical centerpiece of a region China renamed Shangri-La in an effort to attract tourists. I shot a video that has a few scenes from the daily life of Dukezong, before the fire, and what is now still a real wonder, the wilds surrounding it.