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This divine lacquered painting took our skilled artisans one hundred and twenty two hours to create, not counting drying time, using the traditional Cambodian lacquering style which we have recently revived with the help of our artists. It is 60.5cm high and 140cm wide.
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The Bayon temple is also known as the Temple of Beaming Smiles, and is thought to symbolize the bridge between heaven and earth. This is most appropriate, as it has great many towers, bearing in total 216 giant, beatifically smiling faces. These heads are thought to be the image of King Jayavarman VII, who was known as a great king, and protector of his people.
The Bayon was the centerpiece of Jayavarman VII's plans to rebuild the city after having defended it from invaders in the 12th century. Others, however, claim that the faces in fact represent the bodhisattva of compassion, otherwise named Lokesvara or Avalokitesvara, though it could quite easily be both, as Khmer kings all believed they were devaraja, or god-kings. Jayavarman VII was the second Buddhist king, and as such related himself to Buddha and bodhisattva.
This painting shows two of those phlegmatically smiling faces gazing into the joy of a new day, the first ray of a fresh dawn's sunlight, and is very reminiscent of the Buddhist principles. In any room, or any setting, this painting will invoke the excitement of a new day, faced serenely.