Cambodia art and influence

Religious principles guide and inspire the Cambodia Art

Hinduism and Buddhism are two religions which combined into a unique Khmer style of art. Sanskrit language and other elements of Indian civilization also influence the arts in Cambodia. In the centuries later than 15th, frequency of wars occurred and reduced the territory, wealth, and power of Cambodian monarchs.

The France and Cambodia art

France which began governing Cambodia in early 20th century rediscovered the temples at Angkor and worked to preserve them. Cambodia’s traditional culture and the monuments of Angkor were endangered between 1970 and 1990 due to civil war.

Cambodia art during Khmer Rouge period

The Communist Khmer Rouge system opposed and mistrusted religion and education. They banned all of Cambodia’s traditional arts and written language. When Cambodia’s warring factions signed a peace agreement in 1991, international organizations have helped the Cambodian government restore the sites at Angkor and recover Cambodia’s traditional crafts.

Sculpture and Cambodia art and architecture

Khmer Art& Architecture mostly present in Sculpture, which basically inherited from Indian cultures. Anyway, it was later developed into its own unique Khmer style. The Khmer sculptures were carved from sand stone with great craftsmanship and mostly represent the Hindu Gods and goddesses.

In later centuries, the Buddha statues appeared in many temples. The most astounding Buddha statues are found in Angkor Thom where the statues of four-faced of the lord Buddha were sculptured on fifty towers. Some sculptures depict the important events such as wars. Some show everyday life of Khmer people.

God and Heaven in Cambodia art

The structure of the Khmer temples mostly symbolizes the residence in heaven of gods. They made it with five towers, called Prasats or Prang. The central main tower represents the Mount Meru with four smaller ones, at each corner, represent the other four sacred mountains of the heaven. In some temples, there are galleries connecting the towers. The moat surrounding the temple symbolizes the cosmic ocean following the epics of Hindu myths.