Ancient artefact back in Kingdom

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Repatriated medicine Buddha. Source: Khmer Times 20190404
Repatriated medicine Buddha. Source: Khmer Times 20190404
Repatriated medicine Buddha. Source: Khmer Times 20190404

via Khmer Times, 4 Apr 2019: Another artefact repatriated to Cambodia. This medicine Buddha sculpture was reportedly taken from Angkor Wat in the 1930s.

After decades of being overseas, the “King of Khmer Medicine” artefact has been returned by a Cambodian-American man who bought it in the United States.

The National Museum yesterday held a welcoming ceremony for the ancient Buddhist statue.

David Leng, the man who brought the statue, said it came from Hawaii, and that it was handed to the government in order to allow younger generations of Cambodians to know their ancestral heritage.

Source: Ancient artefact back in Kingdom – Khmer Times

Buddha statue ‘sweats’ holy water

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Buddha image of Wat Toom in Ayutthaya, said to ‘sweat’ holy water. Source: Bangkok Post, 20190401

via Bangkok Post, 01 Apr 2019: One of the sources of sacred waters being gathered for the coronation of the Thai king in May (see here and here). This source is rather unusual, from inside a Buddha statue in Ayutthaya and is considered the ‘sweat’ of the Buddha.

Wat Toom, a local temple in Ayutthaya province, is famous for its ancient Buddha statue, which believers claim to be a source of mysterious holy water.

The temple has recently attracted many visitors as it will be one of the sacred water sources for use in the coronation rites for His Majesty the King next month.

Wat Toom is situated in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district, an ancient town which was a former capital of Thailand until three hundred years ago.

The temple has long been famous among residents who come to worship the bronze Luang Phor Thongsuk Samrit statue.

The upper part of the head of the statue can be opened and taken off, revealing a hollow space on the inside where monks claim sacred water mysteriously drips from.

According to Wichai Sa-nguanpath, a temple attendant, the water leaks out “as if it were drops of sweat”.

Source: Buddha statue ‘sweats’ holy water | Bangkok Post: news

SOAS statue: school denies it was smuggled, but provenance has not yet been established

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via The Nation, 16 June 2018: SOAS denies that the donated statue was smuggled but critics point out that the provenance of the statue is lacking, or at least has not yet been established (see other links at the end of this post).

London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has denied claims the prestigious institution possesses a 13th-century sculpture likely smuggled from Thailand

Source: Thai Buddha statue not smuggled: SOAS – The Nation

See also:

London university accused of accepting smuggled sculpture

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via The Nation, 14 June 2018: A developing story about the donation of a Lopburi-style sculpture to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, that was accepted without documentation of provenance. The details were first released by Dr Angela Chiu, an independent scholar, on her website.

The Culture and Foreign ministries are following up an accusation made by London University’s prominent School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), that it accepted as a gift a 13th-century sculpture possibly smuggled from Thailand.

Source: London university accused of accepting smuggled sculpture – The Nation

See also:

Reconstructing Krishna at the Cleveland Museum of Art

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via Ideastream.org, 01 March 2018: There is a video attached to the article – click on the link to see.

A 1,400-year-old statue of the Hindu god Krishna is getting a 21st century facelift at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  He was assembled from broken pieces four decades ago, but, it turns out they didn’t quite get it right.

Source: Reconstructing Krishna at the Cleveland Museum of Art

[Lecture] Classical Javanese Figurative Sculpture: Examining ornament and style

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For readers in Singapore, an upcoming lecture in ISEAS

Classical Javanese Figurative Sculpture: Examining ornament and style
Date: Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Time: 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2

About the Lecture
This lecture examines a corpus of free standing Hindu Buddhist figurative sculpture produced in Java in the 9th to 14th century period whose elaborate dress displays textiles with detailed patterns. This surviving body of sculpture, carved in stone in bas relief and cast in metal, varying in both size and condition, now stands in archaeological sites across Java, museums in Indonesia, and beyond. Situated a few degrees south of the equator, the humid climate of Java has ensured that textiles from this period have not survived in situ.

In considering supporting evidence from other regions of Asia, this lecture explores the origins of the medieval textiles depicted on these sculptures, and identifies the types of textiles being represented. It also provides some analysis of specific motifs, such as those on Saiva Buddha sculptures representing tantric iconography.

Additionally this lecture re-examines, through this corpus of sacred sculpture, the impact of the ‘Pāla Style’ from northeast India on the sculpture of Classical Java.

About the Speaker
Dr Lesley S Pullen, is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in art history at SOAS University of London. She was born in Medan, Sumatra and lived in Asia for thirty years. Dr Pullen arrived in London in 1997 and completed at SOAS a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, a Taught Masters and in 2017 a PhD. She is currently converting her doctoral thesis “Representation of Textiles on Classical Javanese Sculpture” into a monograph. Her work includes research into the textiles and ornament of India, Central Asia and China, and how these are reflected in Southeast Asian material art. She tutors and lectures on Southeast Asia art history courses at SOAS and the V&A Museum.

Bago palace uses anti-Burmese symbol to attract Thai tourists

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via Coconuts Yangon, 17 January 2018: Kanbawza Thardi Palace in Bago has a statue of an Ayutthaya princess that holds a secret meaning to Thai visitors.

Officials want to attract Thai tourists to a replica of Bayinnaung’s palace by displaying a statue that symbolizes the cruelty of Burmese expansionism.

Source: Bago palace uses anti-Burmese symbol to attract Thai tourists | Coconuts Yangon

Cleveland Museum of Art embarks on radical reconstruction of Cambodian Krishna statue

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via Cleveland.com. 17 December 2017:

The Cleveland Museum of Art is embarking on a yearlong radical makeover of its 7th century Cambodian statue of the Hindu god Krishna aimed at accurately reconstructing the original pose of the artwork.

Source: Cleveland Museum of Art embarks on radical reconstruction of Cambodian Krishna statue (photos)