Cambodian Art

Discover the historical development of Cambodian art and how it experienced a fall and has risen to fame once again in current times.

The history of art for any nation starts right from the history of the nation it self. In the case of Cambodian art the story is pretty much the same. Khmer art is the most popular form of art to rise out of this nation. It was back in the Angkor period when this unique form of art started gaining currency. There were many specialized artists that were responsible for developing Khmer art but even the ordinary people of the day would like to try their hands at an intriguing form of art.

The history of Cambodian art

The long and twisted indulgence of the nation of Cambodia in constant warfare is what hampered real Cambodian art from ever flourishing to the extent that it had the potential to. The years of war diverted everyone’s attention to the actual problems that the country was facing and little or no attention could be paid to preserving the cultural heritage when the actual survival of people was at stake.

The artistic legacy of Cambodia suffered most at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime which was a ruthless communist regime that ruled the nation during the 70’s. The persecution of Cambodian art in all its forms continued up until very recently when certain individuals and organizations began to make an effort to revive traditional Cambodian art.

In its essence Cambodian art is a mixture of live performances and traditional visuals. Today we find Cambodian art to have come under a strong western influence that is manipulated by traditional Cambodian creativity. The young generation has taken Cambodian art into a totally new direction whereas some of the older artists have also begun to experiment.

Cambodian kite making

Traditional Cambodian art reveals itself in a variety of forms. Kite making is one of the oldest traditional arts of the region. The kites made by the professionals are a true testament to the classical Cambodian style that has attracted a lot of foreign attention.

Cambodian Masonry

Stone carving is yet another form of traditional Cambodian art. The locals are known to possess amazing craftsmanship when it comes to working with stone. Ceramics is yet another domain where the Cambodians have produced some amazing work. The locals are also renowned silversmiths working wonders with the medium. Textile weaving and print designing are also amongst the mediums of artistic expression used by the Cambodians.

Recently it has been observed that the ancient tradition of kite making and flying is being revived in the country. One can find a wide variety of kites available in the market today especially when the monsoon season arrives which is the peak kite flying season.

The Cambodian artists have today combined their age old traditional skills with modern trends in order to come up with unique contemporary artwork. The Cambodian artists of the new ear have taken inspiration from modern trends and have attempted to execute those ideas through traditional Cambodian mediums such as kite making and stone carving. On the flipside some artists have attempted to take the traditional Cambodian style and experiment with new mediums of artistic expression.

 

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