Thursday, February 18, 2010

Closing the Phimai chapter

A small but perfectly formed lintel of Vishnu riding Garuda with dancers, nagas and vegetal scrolling
This is a final look at some of the iconography and sculptures on show at Phimai Museum in Isaan (northeast Thailand), which I visited last October. I couldn't gain access to the indoor exhibitions as the museum was closed on the day of my visit (Monday) but there is a wealth of carvings in an outdoor storage area that reminded me of the compound at Angkor Conservation in Siem Reap. Over 350,000 visitors go to Prasat Phimai each year but only 10% of those visit the museum.
On a totally separate note, the offices at Hanuman are a buzz of activity just now as Hollywood are here... well, not Hollywood exactly but a National Geographic film crew are using the building to recreate an office environment for a television programme they are filming here called Banged Up Abroad. A few of the Hanuman staff have been drafted in as extras, so they'll be able to see themselves on the international Nat Geo channel in a few months, which will be a wonderful experience for them.
A massive statue of Shiva in the outdoor storage area at Phimai Museum
As everyone will know, this Phimai lintel shows Krishna killing the serpent Kaliya
This delightful lintel comes from Prasat Muang Tam and shows a deity, possibly Vishnu with followers above a kala head
A large pediment on the outside wall of the museum buildings, from Prasat Phimai, showing Indra as the central theme
Close-up detail of Indra aboard his 3-headed vehicle, Airavata
Another Phimai lintel, this time showing 2 monkeys attacking a deity, taken from the Ramayana story
A line of Buddhas meditate above a row of hamsas, again from Prasat Phimai

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting Khmer artifacts in Thailand. Did Thais mention those artifacts were Khmer's creations? Knowing Thais, they are trying to claim everything. Last year I went to Surin and visited a small ancient Khmer temple near Prasat town, and the description written in Thai, makes no reference to Khmer. There is a big ancient Khmer's baray which the Thais converted into water reservior doesn't mention anything related to ancient Khmer either.

February 19, 2010 at 8:10 AM  

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