The Tian Tan Buddha was constructed beginning in 1990, and was finished on December 29, 1993, the day of the enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, the founder of the Buddhist religion. The statue was formed out of 202 separate pieces of bronze. In addition to the exterior components, there is a strong steel framework inside the statue to support the heavy load. When the statue was completed, monks from around the world were invited to the opening ceremony. Distinguished visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United States all took part in the proceedings.
On October 18, 1999, the Hong Kong Post Office issued a stamp depicting the Tian Tan Buddha. The MTR corporation has also issued a souvenir ticket featuring a photograph of the statue.