SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

The Multiple Manifestations of Hindu-Buddhist Gods: Angkor and the Dynamics of Art History

Illustration - Mikaelian - Bordonneau
A Collaborative Workshop with Drs Ang Choulean, Eric Bourdonneau and Grégory Mikaelian

Date: 20 June 2018Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 20 June 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B204

Type of Event: Workshop

Afternoon session followed by a book sale and reception at 5 PM.

Free Event.


Ashley Thompson, Hiram W Woodward Chair in Southeast Asian Art, Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS


Conan Cheong, MA Candidate in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS

Penny Edwards, Associate Professor, Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Vasudha Narayanan, Distinguished Professor, Department of Religion, University of Florida


How does art serve to sustain cultural dynamics over centuries? How is it caught, transformed and carried by forces more powerful than any given work? What has driven the staying power of Indic gods in Southeast Asian contexts? Through close consideration of particular works of art and image types, along with the evolving architectural, textual and ritual contexts in which these are embedded, this workshop will examine the work of art in long-term historical processes. If Angkor is our point of departure and return, it repeatedly propels us beyond its apparent temporal and spatial limits.

Ang Choulean, Professor of Religious Anthropology and Epigraphy at the Department of Archaeology, Royal University of Fine Arts, and Director of Yosothor Cultural Institute, Phnom Penh, is renowned for his profoundly insightful anthropological work uniquely grounded in – and shedding light on - Cambodian and broader regional historical, art historical and linguistic contexts. At SOAS he will present recent work on Yama, the God of Justice and the Afterlife, in a range of Cambodian cultural contexts.

Archaeologist Eric Bourdonneau (EFEO, Siem Reap) will join Historian Grégory Mikaelian (CNRS, Paris) to present collaborative work on Angkor’s enigmatic devarāja, heretofore firmly evidenced only in textual form. In proposing formal sculptural identification for the devarāja both in the Angkorian period and in its long wake, the research gauges the modalities of an exceptional example of cultural continuity.

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20 June 2018 - The Multiple Manifestations of Hindu-Buddhist Gods

Eric Bourdonneau and Grégory Mikaelian's presentation at this workshop will be published in French in the forthcoming issue of Puruṣārtha:

Bourdonneau, Eric & Mikaelian, Grégory, "L’histoire longue du devarāja: pañcaksetr et figuier à cinq branches dans l’ombre de la danse de Śiva", Paris, Éditions de l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Puruṣārtha, vol. 37, 2019.

Event sponsored by the SOAS Centre for Southeast Asian Studies with the generous support of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme, funded by the Alphawood Foundation.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

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