Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - National Museum hosts ‘lost art’ exhibit



National Museum hosts ‘lost art’ exhibit

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The new exhibition will run for two weeks and features photos of artworks that have since been lost or destroyed. PHOTO SUPPLIED

National Museum hosts ‘lost art’ exhibit

The Department of Fine Arts and Handicrafts at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts will hold a two-week exhibition of photographic archives of lost paintings. Held under the theme “Life of the Buddha” from November 18-30, they will be displayed at the exhibition hall of the National Museum in Phnom Penh.

The exhibition will be open to the public, so they can express their support for the preservation of the Kingdom’s ancient paintings. They could be easily damaged or lost if not cared for, said the department.

Department director Chhim Sothy, himself a veteran artist, said the photographs are of paintings on the life of Buddha from three pagodas in Kandal province. The paintings were lost in 2020 and 2021.

“I took photographs of 50 or 60 paintings, but due to the limited display space, have selected 36 for the exhibition,” he told The Post on November 15.

“Some photos were taken in 2020, when I photographed the ‘Jatakas’ at Ta Ek pagoda in Khsach Kandal district’s Ta Ek commune,” he said in reference to the tales of former lives of Buddha.

“The pagoda has since collapsed into the river due to the erosion of the river bank. The remaining photographs are of paintings which were kept at Wat Traing in Ta Ek commune, and at the Prek Samrong pagoda in Takhmao town commune’s Prek Samrong village. All of these paintings have since been scratched and damaged,” he added.

The exhibition of these lost paintings aims to arouse the interest of the general public – especially the younger generation of Cambodians, so that they will recognise the majesty of the Kingdom’s traditional art forms and contribute to protecting their cultural heritage.

“The ancient Khmer paintings remain on the walls and ceilings of many temples and monasteries, most of which are taken from the Jatakas. I would like to send a message to all Cambodian people, especially the youngest of them: Please help to preserve the cultural heritage of these ancient paintings. Do not neglect them,” added Sothy.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,