Another Face of Angkor – Lucky Dragon – as a Silk Carving

May 8, 2009

The dragon motif is ubiquitous in Asia. But other than in Europe or the western hemisphere, where the dragon represents something menacing and evil that needs to be extinguished, in eastern beliefs the dragon is a protector that fights all evil off.




I have always been fascinated by those beautiful and impressive sculptures and bas-reliefs – so I decided to add such a face as a silk carving to this series.




The “dragon face” here is called a kirtimukha and is one of the most ubiquitous icons in Asia. It is part of the Hindu legacy in Khmer art. In the Khmer country the kirtimukha can be found in various designs – with or without arms. It became a characteristic decorative element for lintels and gateways and other architectural constructions. Over the years the kirtimukha lost its originally protective function and developed into a purely decorative icon.

Below you’ll see such a decorative element:


Another example – showing a mask with arms – is this one:


One of the most beautiful examples from the Preah Ko temple in Angkor Wat is this bas-relief:


(Original image source:  Le Visage de Gloire« Kirtimukha » des monuments d’Angkor by Anne-Mey Chew) The aforementioned article is a very interesting document about the various styles of the kirtimukha and worth while reading.



2 Responses to “Another Face of Angkor – Lucky Dragon – as a Silk Carving”

  1. Hm I don’t remember Preah Ko that much. Thanks for the picture.

  2. Bo Malinoski Says:

    This is a very good piece, I located your webpage doing research aol for a similar content and came to this. I couldnt come across to much other details on this piece of content, so it was nice to locate this one. I probably will end up being returning to check out some other posts that you have another time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: