Southeast Asia

Discover the extraordinary art and architecture of this vast region which includes palaces, temples and mosques inspired by the Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic religions.

A beginner's guide to Southeast Asian art

Article
Introduction to Southeast Asia

Cambodia

Article
Angkor Wat
Essay by Dr. Melody Rod-ari
2:01
Angkor (UNESCO/TBS)
Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to ... Source: UNESCO TV / © TBS Produced by TBS Supported by Sony URL: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668/
2:54
The Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati
Apart from their damaged limbs, these 1,000-year-old Cambodian sculptures survive in excellent condition, and the fact that they have remained together makes them rare. These statues would have been in the inner sanctuary of a Hindu temple, a huge stone complex built up like a step pyramid, with the sanctuary at the top. Images of Shiva acting out his power in the world might be found on the outside of an ancient Cambodian temple, but inside the temple the deity would be shown standing upright and still, conveying a sense of resolute calm to all who gazed upon him. Learn more about the deities Shiva and Parvati. The third eye in the middle of the forehead of the male figure identifies him as the Hindu deity Shiva. His wife is Parvati. Both these deities can be represented in supernatural forms with multiple arms, and both have violent and frightening forms as well. Here, however, they are shown in the guise of a graceful young man and woman. Before and after the period of these sculptures, Angkorian art usually emphasized the power and remoteness of the gods. In the late 900s, however, and continuing for several generations, gentleness and sensitivity were sometimes emphasized. Notice here the carefully calculated contrast of minutely textured clothing and jewelry with the expanses of smooth, soft skin. The sculptor has also taken advantage of the different color tonalities of the two pieces of stone. Scientific study has shown that they came from different parts of a single quarry.

Bali

Article
An Introduction to Bali
Article
Hinduism in Bali
Article
Storytelling in ritual and performance in Bali
5:01
Balinese shadow theater
Watch an excerpt from the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. Performed Shadowmaster I Wayan Nartha.
6:44
Balinese dance, costumes, music
This video features examples of different types of Balinese dance, costumes, and music. 
1:15
Symbolism in Balinese dance costumes
This video features Balinese dancer, Kompiang Metri Davies, discussing the symbolism of Balinese dance costumes.
4:07
Balinese boar Barong dance performance
The Barong is a protective deity that can take on a variety of animal forms—lions, tigers, and boars are some of the more common images—and each one is addressed using a respectful title such as Great God or Great Lord. Many villages, especially in southern Bali, have their own Barong figure. The Barong mask is kept in a shrine within a temple and brought out for use. The Barong is one of the most prominent images seen in the performing arts of Bali. This video features the Calonarang, a dance drama intended to chase away evil and purify a village.
0:45
Repairing sacred Balinese masks
Barong masks are often sold as souvenirs, but true ritual Barong are created using a particular type of wood with special ceremonies marking key points in the process. In this video, scholar I Wayan Dibia is at the home of mask carver I Wayan Tanguhh and describes the process of repairing a Barong mask. The Barong is a protective deity that can take on a variety of animal forms--lions, tigers, and boars are some of the more common images—and each one is addressed using a respectful title such as Great God or Great Lord. Many villages, especially in southern Bali, have their own Barong figure. The Barong mask is kept in a shrine within a temple and brought out for use. 
0:40
Balinese mask carver
Artist Wayan Sira carves a mask at his home in Gianyar, Bali.