Weekly Photo Challenge – GEOMETRY (Golden Lines of the Grand Palace)

Grand Palace (Bangkok, Thailand)

I cannot believe that I used to excel in Geometry. I’m terrible with numbers. But I remember when I was in third year at secondary school and required to take Chemistry, Algebra and Economics, Geometry was the ‘line I traced’. I didn’t particularly like it; it was just one of those subjects I had to pass. But I, myself, got surprised every time I can easily solve the lengths, volumes and areas without the hair-pulling frustration I experienced with Algebra (to think that these two are related). It was (what’s the right word?) natural.

In line with this week’s challenge, I ponder about how human beings are naturally attracted to symmetry–to perfection. You might have heard that beauty is symmetry and they started measuring women’s faces to find the most beautiful face. (Check the perfect human face.) If I had become a geometer, facial symmetry would be an interesting specialization.

It is natural to think in symmetries, in binaries. They are convenient categorizations and explanations to the unfathomable complexity of human life. It could be axiomatic that everything in nature has order. However, some people believe that this is not the case, that the natural state of life and being is chaos. They believe in subjectivity and find beauty and reason in anarchy.

I propose a resolution to this inevitable disagreement. Symmetry is objective; perfection is subjective. Lines are straight, no doubt about that, no further objections. But whether the straightness of the lines fulfills my idea of perfection is a different question with a subjective answer. (Forgive me for such a lengthy musing. I’m reading too much boring stuff these days.)

Back to the photo challenge, above are the different angles of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. The golden columns, the colorful geometrical patterns on the walls and ornate roofs are good examples of symmetry. I admire this place; it was beautiful beyond words. But I am sure that not all visitors are all the time impressed like me. If symmetry is in the correctness of measurements, we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Finally, I made my point.

Join the Weekly Photo Challenge to find out more about geometry around us.

Freshly Pressed badge by Kirsty of La Plume Noire. Thank you!

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58 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – GEOMETRY (Golden Lines of the Grand Palace)

  1. “Weekly Photo Challenge – GEOMETRY (Golden Lines of the Grand Palace)
    A drifter off to see the world” ended up being a fantastic blog.
    In case it had a lot more pictures this would probably
    be perhaps even even better. Regards -Marcela

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (5) « What's (in) the picture?

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (4) « What's (in) the picture?

  4. Geometry was one of my favorite classes – as much as I hated Calculus, Trig and geometry just spoke to me.

    The Asian continent (and subsequently Spain) has amazingly geometric designs and patterns. I hope to visit this palace one day – and I hope you visit Isfahan or Shiraz one day. Or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Turkey.

    • Turkey is one of my dream destinations. It is a culturally and historically rich country. I hope I could visit it someday…soon. I’m very much fascinated with Iran too. It is a beautiful country (but very much misunderstood these days). Thanks for the comment. I found a new wonderful blog!

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (3) « What's (in) the picture?

  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Geometry « Journey Around The Globe

  7. Having not gotten to Thailand, I am intrigued and impressed by your photos. Thankfully, not all spectacular architecture is symmetrical. Two buildings I have seen – and hope you get to see – are Chartres Cathedral in France and St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow. Both are examples of eye-catching non-symmetry.

    • I agree. I’m dying to see Moscow; it’s actually one of my dream destinations. Jealous you’ve seen these beauties. I wish I could see them soon! Thank you for sharing the thought that symmetry does not automatically equate to being eye-catchy.

  8. two freshly pressed…wow!!! you already!:D i’ve visited Thailand just this year, my first travel abroad, and i was in awe and envious not only of their Grand Palace, but also of how organized their tourism industry is. i wish our country’s could be that also. anyways, i’m.really in awe of your talent. :)

    • My stars are aligned this year. Just lucky. Our tourism industry is on its way and it’s not behind our neighbors, I believe. Each country in SE Asia has its strengths/potentials and we just have to cultivate them. Thanks for dropping by! :)

  9. I can completely relate to the geometry thing! Bad with numbers…good with geometry! Intelligent piece with lots of food for thought. I loved this: “Symmetry is objective; perfection is subjective.” Yes ma’am! : )

  10. That face project is a bit strange. The lady they picked is nice-looking, sure, but most beautiful? Not by a long shot. I guess the lesson is that taste doesn’t depend totally on symmetry?

    That’s an amazing palace, though. I’ve never been to SE Asia, but I want to go someday.

  11. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (2) « What's (in) the picture?

    • I sometimes wish I can go back to those days when every snap is priceless. Grand Palace is at the heart of Bangkok and it is definitely a must-see. It’s difficult not to notice it anyway. Thanks for dropping by!

  12. “Symmetry is only a property of dead things. Did you ever see a tree or a mountain that was symmetrical? It’s fine for buildings, but if you ever see a symmetrical human face, you will have the impression that you ought to think it beautiful, but that in fact you find it cold. The human heart likes a little disorder in its geometry, Kyria Pelagia. Look at your face in a mirror, Signorina, and you will see that one eyebrow is a little higher than the other, that the set of the lid of your left eye is such that the eye is a fraction more open that the other. It is these things that make you both attractive and beautiful, whereas…otherwise you would be a statue. Symmetry is for God, not for us.”
    ― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

  13. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry | Mirth and Motivation

  14. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry « What's (in) the picture?

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