Friday, April 13, 2012

The last great forest temple

A new book on Banteay Chhmar
River Books have two new publications on their 'forthcoming titles' listings that I'm looking forward to see on the bookshelves. One of them, Beyond Angkor, has been on the waiting list for a long time, at least a couple of years. It's a look at the Angkor temples beyond those at Angkor and goes in search of the smaller temple sites both in Cambodia, Laos and in Thailand. Helen Ibbitson Jessup is the author, aided by Ang Choulean's insights into ethnography and mythology, accompanied by John Gollings’ photography. I hope it'll be out soon enough. The other book on the list that grabs my attention is Banteay Chhmar: The Last Great Forest Temple. Always one of my favourite temples, Peter Sharrock has brought together a team of international experts, including Claude Jacques, Olivier Cunin and Thierry Zephir, to decipher the reliefs of the master carvers, identify the esoteric Buddhist deities and open a new vista on Jayavarman VII’s reign. The book will be illustrated with 200 colour photographs by Paisarn Piemmettawat. The last book dedicated to this temple was published in Japan and called the Face Towers of Banteay Chhmar, with photos by Baku Saito and text from Olivier Cunin.



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