New perspective in iconography of Small Bas–Reliefs in Angkorian arts
Dara Phoeung (APSARA Authority)
Paper short abstract:
Angkorian temples are decorated with various forms of bas-reliefs, in large and small sizes, on different parts of the temple. I have conducted surveys on small bas-reliefs depicted on temple pillars, walls, doorframes, and basements. These smaller bas-reliefs are generally overshadowed by their larger relatives adorning the gallery’s walls, pediments, and frontons.
Paper long abstract:
Some of these reliefs are lightly carved on the doorframes, resembling the tapestry designs, and others are artfully embedded in various floral designs. Those small bas-reliefs do not receive much attention from common visitors and some researchers. My subject of research focused on temples built during 12th and 13th centuries CE, particularly in Angkor Wat and Bayon styles. The iconography conveys different aspects of life during this period including religious ideology, daily life activities, as well as the surrounding environment. Therefore, these aspects have a close relationship with two major religions, the Brahmanism and Buddhism, and other mythical scenes related with Ramayana, Mahabharata and a lot of unknown bas-reliefs as well. This data indicates that the themes of these small base-reliefs are not only comparable to those of the larger ones but also provide additional aspects of society of these period. This research suggested that study of the small bas-relief contribute to our understanding of Angkorian society by providing additional information to inscriptions from the same period as well as the craftsmanship of Angkorian artisans.
Visuality, connectivity and sustainability of cultural heritage of Cambodia