The Special Interest Day commences at 10.30am via Zoom
When social distancing rules allow, future Special Interest Days
will take place at:
The Reach Free School, Long Lane, Rickmansworth, WD3 8AB

Saturday 17 October 2020        

Cambodia and Laos: Sacred Temples and Living Arts. A special interest day led by Denise Heywood

The temple complex of Angkor is the greatest archaeological site in Asia. Built in the 12th Century, it is the biggest religious monument in the world, a recreation on earth of the Hindu cosmos, aligned with the sun and moon and covered with exquisite carvings. This lecture will focus on Angkor’s artistic heritage and religious symbolism.

The Study Day will also consider the history of the Khmer empire and its flowering of sculptural art. Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Laos has 35 Buddhist temples dating from the 16th Century, which are superbly gilded and frescoed, with tiered roofs that sweep to the ground.

The day concludes with a look at contemporary Cambodia and the living arts, especially classical dance, performed at the temples in celebration of the gods. It will also feature the silver head dresses and jewellery worn by ethnic minorities such as the Hmong, Yao and Akha and the shimmering silk weaving of Laos, rich in history, showing the wealth of the silk’s ancient patterns and glorious colours.

Denise Heywood worked in Cambodia in the 1990s and has been a scholar of Southeast Asian art ever since. Her books include one on the Buddhist temples of Laos, Ancient Luang Prabang and Laos, also in French, and Cambodian Dance Celebration of the Gods, with a foreword by the daughter of King Sihanouk. She lectures for the Art Fund, the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies on their post-graduate Asian Art Course and for the V&A.


© Chorleywood Fine Arts 2021