Just down the road from Police Boat 813 is the Stabile tsunami memorial, a tall set of steel spires that reach into the heavens by Lars Englund. According to the plaque located alongside it:
Technique: Stainless Steel
Size: 5 m. x 0.6m. x 0.6m.
Stabile, which means “something sound and solid”. Stabile is actually related to a series of furniture that Mr. Englund designed in the 1990s, like lamps, chairs and tables. The leg construction of the furniture inspired him to a new series of sculptures, made of metal or wood and mounted sturdily on the floor or, if outdoors, on the ground.
The Stabile is an abstract geometrical sculpture, made of brushed stainless steel and approximately 6 meters tall, striving upwards, towards the sky, or towards universe. Mr. Englund would like the spectators to make their own interpretations of his concept. He has said, “you are supposed to enter into my work, but only with your mind”.
Christina C. Palm
Acting Consul General for Sweden
22nd July, 2006
Assuming you can find it, visiting Stabile is a somber experience. There are very rarely any other people around and the poignant words and peaceful scene that surround the memorial leave visitors with plenty of information and time to reflect.
Police Boat 813, on the other hand, has become something of a touristic magnet. Located off the west (inland) side of Petchkasem Road, not far from the intersection of the road leading to La Flora, the site is well-marked. Inside, there is an informational booth that sells CDs, books and other items, with all proceeds going to a tsunami-related charity.
Carrie and I found our way to both Police Boat 813 and the Stabile tsunami memorial while spending a few days relaxing in Khao Lak before heading off our our awesome five day scuba diving live-aboard boat experience. Both sites are accessible by foot, although we got around on a rented motorcycle.
The town of Khao Lak itself is a sleepy little hamlet along the coast that reminds me a bit of the Caribbean. It’s main source of income is tourism: particularly the backpacker scene and scuba-tourism. Scenically, it’s a bit like taking your holidays in Barbados. The weather is always beautiful, the sea is a beautiful blue, the air is clean and the tropical environment is lush and tranquil.
The final photos on this post are of some of the signs and plaques located around the two Thai tsunami memorials. To learn more about Lars Englund, sculpture of Stabile, check out his site.