study of Khmer ornament
Reception, March 31, 2005
Kbach, in Khmer language, can have many meanings. It can refer to
a certain type of gesture in dance and theater (kbach robam) as well
as a certain type of fighting technique in Khmer boxing (kbach kun).
In this exhibition and publication we have chosen to focus mainly
on the meaning of kbach as a way to name the variety of ornaments
which decorate objects and architectural surfaces throughout Cambodia.
Reyum began research on kbach nearly four years ago, our goal was
to produce a simple manual for students, especially for those studying
at the Royal University of Fine Arts. Like other aspects of Cambodian
culture, kbach has been passed on from generation to generation through
apprenticeship and oral tradition. We were concerned that this knowledge
would wane without documentation.
A Study of Khmer Ornament is an attempt to contribute to the understanding
of a complex topic and much remains to be investigated. We hope our
work will spur the desire of future generations to further explore
would like to thank all the artists and professors who have contributed
to this work. We also thank the Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation,
the Rockefeller Foundation, the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the
Toyota Foundation for their support.
dedicate this exhibition and publication to Ingrid