You are on page 1of 3

Kleiner, Fred. "SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA AFTER 1200 705.

" Gardener's Art through


the Ages: A Global History. 13th ed. Clark Baxter, 2011. 1088. Print.
Southeast Asia
Because of the similarities between the two, art historians once believed that Southeastern art
was an extension of Indian art, but now Southeastern art is seen more individually, with distinct
characteristics. The spread of Indian culture through Southeast Asia was peaceful and
imperialistic, it spread through trade. Trading occurring from India and China to Rome went
through Southeast Asia, resulting in the participation of local tribe leaders trading their products
too. Along with goods from India, religions such as Sanskrit, Buddhism and Hinduism also
spread throughout Southeast Asia. However, Indian art was modified by the Southeast Asian and
made their own.
Sri Lanka
Shakyamuni Buddha arrived in Sri Lanka in the third century B.C.E. this where the oldest form
of Buddhism exists, Theravada Buddhism. From Sri Lanka, Buddhism spread throughout
Southeast Asia. Sri Lanka has the longest Buddhist tradition in the world.
Java
Java island, from the 8th to 10th century, experienced an abundance of Hindu and Buddhist
monuments.
Borobudur, being one of them, is a Buddhist monument constructed on a colossal scale, built
over a small hill on nine platforms accessed by four stairways in lined with the cardinal points.
The monument consists of Buddha images, relief panels and many stupas of various sizes. The
structure may be symbolic to a cosmic mountain, where visitors circumambulate, viewing art of
important Buddhist beliefs and history. The iconography in Borobudur reveal the dependence it
has on Indian art, literature and religion that nothing else comparable exists in India itself.
Borobudurs uniqueness, complexity and sophistication reveal how southeast Asians had
completely appropriated, rethought, and recreated Indian religion and art.
Cambodia

Around the time that Borobudur was built in 802, the Khmer King Jayavarman II created the
Angkor dynasty and sponsored the construction of hundreds of monuments, such as gigantic
Buddhist monasteries. Two centuries before, the Kahmar produced Indian-related artworks,
which were important pre-Angkorian period.
Recycling Vishnu
The Khmer kings were very powerful and wealthy. There is a luxury and mastery of bronze
casting seen in much of Khmer art, seen in Vishnu lying on the cosmic ocean, from Mebon
temple. In its complete form, ar 20 feet long, the Vishnu statue was one of the largest bronzes in
the ancient and medieval worlds. Originally, jewels, gold and silver inlays were placed upon the
statue. The statue shows Vishnu lying asleep on the cosmic ocean, as the universe is created. As
believed in Hinduism, a lotus grows from Vishnus navel, holding Brahma, the creator god.
Angkor Wat
For many centuries, successors contributed to the construction of Angkor Wat, which was
originally founded by Indravarman. Angkor consists of a large complex of temples and palaces,
all of which are placed within a rectangular grid of canals and reservoirs. Each Khmer king was
responsible for a temple mountain at Angkor, where their personal god was placed, wither Shiva,
Vishnu or Buddha. Each god was given a part of the kings name, suggesting that the king was a
manifestation of that deity. After the kings death, it was believed that that deity reabsorbed his
soul, so the kings were worshiped as if they were gods themselves. The purpose of Angkor Wat,
like many other Khmer temples, was to associate the kings with their personal god. In the center
of the complex is a tall tower, surrounded by four other towers, these five towers symbolize the
five peaks of Mt. Meru, believed to be the sacred mountain at the center of the universe. Reliefs
seen throughout Angkor Wat glorify Vishnu and Suryavarman II.
Bayon
Jayavarman VII ruled over the mountainlands of Southeast Asia and contributed to more
buildings than all of the Khmer kings after him combined. The most important temple that he had
created was the Bayon. It is a unique and complicated structure that consists of circular terraces,
with towers carved with faces. Jayavarman strayed from past rulers main belief in Hinduism and

moved more toward Buddhist beliefs. The faces of the temple could be portraying Lokeshvara,
indicating the watchful compassion in all directions from the capital.
During the first to fifth centuries Buddhism also spread to China, Korea, and Japan. The artistic
traditions vary greatly throughout these regions, but they do share a tradition of Buddhist art,
ultimately tying them to India.