‘ The Lord The King’ is a photograph from my body of work, ‘Fortifying Bonds Beyond Time and Measure’ produced... Read More
‘ The Lord The King’
is a photograph from my body of work, ‘Fortifying Bonds Beyond Time and
Measure’ produced in 2017. This is a photograph of
the gigantic faces carved on the temple towers at Bayon, the only Mahanaya
Buddhist shrine at Angkor Wat. With similarity of the faces carved at other
statues, scholars conclude that it can be the face of the King Jayavarman
VII. Others say that the face belongs to
Buddha, the Bodhisattva of compassion,
Lokeshwara. Angkor scholar George
Coedes has theorized that Khmer monarchs thought of themselves as “devaraja”
(God King). Bayon may be seen as representation of King Jayavarman as Buddha, the enlightened one.
The photo reveal the soul of the structures and the impact of the
passage of time and experience have witnessed empires grow and fall. I have
tried to present the true nature of the structure, not only how it looks but
also how it feels to be in its presence. I have tried to create a sense of
interaction between the elements of foreground and background with the static
heaviness from the stone structures and the dynamism of the rising sun and
skies. Also, with the play of colors and the three-dimensional and
two-dimensional elements, I attempt to create a composition that is both
abstract and realistic. The resulting
image is both an external and internal reality.
Angkor Wat are supreme architectural achievement of the civilization of Angkor.
The Holy City of Angkor was abandoned in 1400 AD. and consumed by jungles when the first
Portuguese missionary passed in wonder through its gates.
Spanish Monk, Marcello de Ribadeneyra (1601) presumed that Kingdom of
Siam were ruins of a city built by Alexander the Great or Romans. He writes
that it is inhabited by ferocious animals, and local people say it is built by
foreigners. Standing tall for centuries, the city of Angkor and its
extraordinary temples were alien to its own people. It’s glorious past was all
lost in 150 years of abandonment and alienation by its subjects.
the western scholars were also alien to the religion, the environment, the
people- virtually all aspects of its life and culture.
the temples made by the Khmer Dynasty we question ourselves:
‘Are we really developed or civilized as compared
to the city of a million that existed 700 years ago?’
‘Does our up-to-date warfare strategy make us more
modern or civilized?’
‘Are we really justified in saying that the ‘Lost Kingdom
of Khmer Dynasty’, a marvel of the world was waiting to be discovered, looted
and then restored?’
century of colonial rule, and agony of Khmer rule, the civilization of Angkor
continues to unify and inspire not just Khmer, but foreigners alike.