Banteay Srei in Angkor, Cambodia
“We find that between the past and the future there is an extremely thin line—something that can not really withstand analysis.” –Dalai Lama
Driving through the area of Angkor in Cambodia, I saw rural fields and people surviving in intense humid weather conditions. The locals are familiar with the extremes; me, not so much. With a swelling heart, I also saw firsthand the struggles of people living here in Cambodia. This was the only downside of my trip, feeling unable to help.
Soon I arrived at a place where red sandstone is a predominant building material: the Banteay Srei temple site. The temple was built in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The temple was built in miniature scale, and it is extremely popular with tourists due to the elaborate, decorative wall carvings widely praised as a precious gem, or the jewel of Khmer art.
I was inspired while observing and learning from these elaborate aesthetics of the past. I also realized that these ancient artisans produced something preciously modern, and the result is timeless. All the carvings and elaborate layers narrate stories, often exalting certain figures and moments in Hindu teachings. Walking through the spaces, my observations of the visitors’ reactions were inspiration alone. People do seem to appreciate the creations of the temple, labeling them as expressions of Khmer art, instead of ancient relics of the past.
I hope you enjoy this last installment of photos from my trip to Cambodia.