Artworks: Later Zhao Carriage

Later Zhao Altar Carriage

Peter Martin

Massachusetts, USA


Peter designed these architectural pieces based on a literary account of an altar carriage commissioned to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday found in the Records from the Region of Ye.  This automated carriage was designed between 334 and 349 CE.  Using research from renowned Sinologist, Joseph Needham in Science and Civilization in China, Peter designed the carriage based on technologies available in China at the time.  For example, the rotating monks are set on a 9’ outer diameter disc set flush with the main display platform.  The water supply to the dragons is raised by a chain pump from a lower storage tank up to a cistern tank.  The pump is activated by the movement of the carriage, via the rear axle-drive shaft.  The lower storage tank, required gear systems and the desired visibility of the display for spectators, were factors in setting the height of the main display platform.  These architectural designs serve as the basis for a 3D animation video and a model carriage of a past technological marvel.


Download files:

  1. Architectural Drawings images
  2. Actual model photos

Related files:

  1. Animation video by Frank Yuan
  2. Animation video description
  3. Later Zhao Carriage Interview video with Venerable Juewei (Download)
  4. Buddha's Birthday's Parada in Later Zhao