‘Angkor Wat: From Temple to Text’ at the Henry Moore Institute


Curated by network member, Dr Ashley Thompson, Angkor Wat: From Temple to Text is soon to open at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds and will run from the 27th November 2010 until the 20th February 2011:

Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s most famous ancient temple, built in the twelfth century at the height of the Angkorian Empire. Curated by Ashley Thompson, an academic based at Leeds University, Angkor Wat: From Temple to Text features paper ‘casts’ of extraordinary inscriptions carved into the stones of the building. Many of the inscriptions were carved in the 16th century, and the casts were made in the 19th century at the initiative of French colonial authorities.

Angkor Wat: From Temple to Text explores the limits between three and two-dimensional representations. In showing the casts, the display investigates relationships between monument and text, and sculpture and inscription. The exhibition evokes a complex history of cultural reappropriation across centuries and civilisations, and the conflicted inseparable drives for preservation and destruction at work within them.

Ashley Thompson notes that: “the casts are at once two-dimensional copies of literary, religious and historical texts, and three-dimensional moulds of fragments of the enormous monument. Operating as records of a complex palimpsestic history they point to the returns and reappropriations of Angkor Wat in the centuries following the collapse of the French Empire.”

For further information please refer to the HMI website.