Traditional Cambodian arts and crafts including silk weaving, silverwork, stone carving, wood carving, lacquerware, pottery, ceramics, temple murals, basketry and copper-art have evolved from ancient times.
A tradition of modern art began in Cambodia in the mid-twentieth century. The contemporary visual arts scene in Cambodia has experienced an artistic escalation.
Many farmers have expanded to weave baskets, make pots, and breed silk worms to produce silk for weaving. In recent years, more sculptors and painters have surfaced to produce marvellous pieces for tourists to take home. Silk weaving in Cambodia has a long history. The practice dates to as early as the first century when textiles were used in trade. Modern textile production skilfully mimics these historic antecedents and produce beautiful motifs that echo clothing details on ancient stone sculptures. By tourists’ demand, skill workers are producing silverwork in the forms of jewellery, souvenir items, especially boxes adorned with fruit and Angkor-inspired motifs. Usually the men produce most of the forms for such work and the women complete the intricate filigree.
Efforts to restore Angkor resulted in a new demand for skilled stone carvers to replace missing or damaged pieces and from that, a new tradition of stone carving has risen in recent years. While some carvings remain traditional-style, some carvers have been successfully producing contemporary design to satisfy market demands.
The village of Koh Anlong Chen (Chinese Island) on the Tonle Sap and the province of Kandal are especially renowned for skilled copper artisans. Their skill has been passed down from generation to generation. These craftsmen cut and carve flattened copper into decorative art pieces. Pots, bowls, plates, ornamental swords, bracelets, and other souvenir items are crafted from flattened copper. While copper decorative swords are popular for Khmer weddings, copper-made decorative pots and bracelets are popular tourist souvenirs.
There are many shops in the city that offer these copper souvenirs. In fact, for a meaningful choice, there are classes here in Cambodia that conduct lessons on how to craft your very own jewelry. These classes usually last only a few hours and all equipment and materials are conveniently included. Khmer artists are always keen to impart their skills to visitors.
Souvenir is an important component of the tourist experience. Bringing back mementos and souvenirs remind one of special moments in your life. Whether to share a piece of those memories with friends or family back home or hold memories of those special moments, the choice of a meaningful souvenir is important.
Taking home a piece or two of these fine pieces of art as souvenir help perpetuate special moments; these are all good conversational wonders.
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