Holy Crap – I have almost never, in my entire museum-going life (and folks, I’m *married* to a curator, so I’ve been to a lot of museums) heard about an exhibit I want to see more than this one: “Life, Death, and Magic: 200 Years of Southeast Asian Art,” at the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra. the description of the exhibit is as follows:
For thousands of years, across mainland and island Southeast Asia, the deification of significant ancestors and the veneration of spirits of nature have formed the basis of traditional beliefs. It has also been the impetus for the creation of splendid and extraordinary works of art in fibre, stone, metal, wood and clay—made to protect and give pleasure to the living, to honour the ancestors and to secure safe passage for the human soul between this world and the afterlife.
Life death and magic: 2000 years of Southeast Asian ancestral art provides an evocative overview of the region’s ancestral arts and culture, from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. Beautifully designed, it is prolifically illustrated with works of art from countries and regions including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, East Timor, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia and southern China which are drawn from museums around the world and the National Gallery of Australia’s exceptional collection of Southeast Asian art.
Now, there’s no way I can raise the scratch to go see this exhibit, so I’m counting on my Australian friends to go, take photos if possible, and comment or post them somewhere. This is astonishing looking work. Thank Flying Spaghetti Monster they’re publishing a catalog. Which I’ve already ordered. Massive Hat Tip to Alison of AlisoninCambodia for the notice.
NoelbyNature, the animating force behind the Southeast Asian Archaeology Blog, has some lovely notes and photos from excavations at Angkor Wat.
Hat tip to Igor Prawn for posting the nice graphic of the World’s Tallest Towers, including a space for the entirely hallucinatory and never-to-be built tower bragged about recently by PM Hun Sen. Phnom Penh Post.
Also, Tuol Sleng, the notorious prison and torture center also called (more appropriately, S-21), rated a mention at Atlas Obscura.