Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

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Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Bong Burgundy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:34 pm

Angkor What? Faux Temple Complex Opens in China
September 13, 2018 cne

Nanning, in Guangxi Province,China now has a new attraction; an Angkor Wat complex. Visitors can’t tell whether they are in Cambodia or Nanning.
In Nanning City, Guangxi, a paradise is known as the Cambodian and Chinese cottage version of the “Angkor Wat” complex. The imitation is fascinating, and the tourists are said to be unclear in Cambodia or Nanning.....

https://cne.wtf/2018/09/13/angkor-what- ... -in-china/

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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Playboy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:47 pm

Nanning is a horrible bloody city, I used to have to spend two weeks there every year for the China + ASEAN secretariat Conference and Expo. Hated it every single time.
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Lucky Lucan » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:22 pm

Wasn't there a big protest from the powers that be about plans for something like this in Bihar, India a few years back?
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby moethebartender » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:38 am

Didn't the French already do this back in the 30's?
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Lucky Lucan » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:10 am

moethebartender wrote:Didn't the French already do this back in the 30's?

They had a couple of temporary expositions in about 1909 and 1931.
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby moethebartender » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:41 am

For some reason, I knew about the '31 expo, but I didn't (or at least I don't remember) reading about the one in 1909. Cheers, always appreciate your knowledge.
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Lucky Lucan » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:13 pm

There was one in Marseille in 1906, not 1909 as I guessed before.
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby kinard » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:53 am

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Must have been pretty amazing at the time. I'm not sure, but I think the Angkor exhibit of the 1906 expo stayed erected for many years. Here it is at the '30s expo; note Phsar Thmei exhibit in backround
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Miguelito » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:00 pm

Here’s an interesting read, starting on page 6:

From the World Fairs to Disney Land: Pavilions as Temples

France extended its colonial empire in Southeast Asia in the 1860s. The appeal of Angkor Wat, the ancient imperial capital in what is Cambodia today, was described as early as 1858 by the French explorer adventurer Henri Mouhot. The temple precinct would be emulated in world’s-fair pavilions, and came to symbolise the broader geographic region of French Indochina. The earliest instances of Indochinese temple pavilions are at Paris’s Exposition Universelle of 1878. Cambodia was present in reproductions of the Phnom Penh temples and models of Khmer sculpture. This 1878 exposition provided a preview of what would turn into the Musée Guimet with objects from India, China, Japan, and Indochina. It was created to ‘protect and highlight an aesthetic patrimony’ (Aimone and Olmo, 1993, p.229). Just as these objects from a vast region were lumped together based on their shared ‘orientalness,’ artistic details in the Indiana Jones ride similarly combine archaeological elements from various regions. Within the Disney temple there are reproductions of Mesopotamian water goddesses from Mari in Syria, copies of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures derived from Indic sources, and a mural of the demonic deity Mara painted in the Calendar Room rotunda inspired by Ajanta cave paintings. But unlike the nascent Musée Guimet that sought visitors’ attention for didactic purposes, the reason for the excessive detail in the interior sections of the Disney temple is to entertain and entice otherwise impatient visitors to walk a quarter mile to the loading dock to start the ride. Thus, ‘because the journey takes place indoors [...] architecture is the attraction [...]. The building is both the story and the means of telling it’ (Marling, 1997, p.114). So too did Angkor Wat reproductions at world’s fairs have a twofold formal and functional purpose, with the building’s regionalist architecture on the outside serving as a display venue for the objects inside.

Paris’s 1889 exposition included a Phnom Penh pavilion inspired by Khmer art, and included the famous monumental ensemble of Angkor Wat. ‘The Pagoda of Angkor’ was part of the Pavillon de Cambodge in the Invalides section and contained sculptures from casts taken on site (1889: la Tour Eiffel 1989). The 1900 Paris exposition was dominated by a towering model of Angkor Wat that would appear again in the 1906 and 1922 Marseilles expositions and in the 1931 International Colonial Exposition in Paris. This 1931 Angkor Wat temple-pavilion (Figure 4.3) spatially dominated the fair, taking up a tenth of the Vincennes site. Lauded for its accuracy and stature, the replica was ‘probably the most impressive colonial pavilion’ (Findling and Pelle, 2008, Paris 1931 entry). For all its authenticity, however, the historian of American popular culture, taste, and architecture Pat Morton has studied this structure, and reminds us that ‘the very process of translating non-Western cultures into representations that were legible to Western audiences produced hybrid, impure images’ regardless of the professed maintenance of accuracy (Morton, 1998, p.84).

Despite differences in source material and geography, the temple-pavilions and the Disney temple combine fact with fiction. Outside of the fantastical realm of the ride’s narrative and seemingly grounded in reality, the art director of the Indiana Jones ride Skip Lange has stated that the influence for the Disney temple came from National Geographic magazines of the 1930s. In a televised interview from 1995, Lange has said that the designers of the project would ‘look at things and see, oh! That’s what the temples looked like in India and Cambodia and things like that so that we are really seeing this as accurate[ly] as possible’ (‘The Making of Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure’). Early concept art and drawings for the ride used Cambodian architectural forms, and ostensibly substantiate this claim.

Amusingly, though, a skim through National Geographic magazines – the attributed sources of information – turns up period photographs from world’s fair temple-pavilions, along with images of real temples amidst jungle encroachment in locations ranging from Chichen Itzá (‘Unearthing America’s Ancient History,’ July 1931), Uxmal (‘Yucatán, Home of the Gifted Maya,’ November 1936), and Angkor Wat (‘Along the Old Mandarin Road of Indo-China,’ August 1931). Some Indic temples appear in the pages of the feature article ‘Temples of India’ from November 1909 (Figure 4.4). A closer examination of the Disney temple architecture reveals, though, that the Disney temple is most like the Tamil Nadu Hindu temples of Mahabalipuram (the Shore Temple) and Vardaraja at Kanchipuram, neither of which appear in National Geographic publications between 1898 and 1948. Given that National Geographic magazines include reportage
on things historical and contemporary, publications contain photographs of both temple-pavilions as well as real temples rooted in their original settings. The Disney temple derives its accuracy from a tautology. It is interpreted as being accurate because its source material defines itself as accurate. But as Marling reminds us, because the Disney temple setting:

"doesn’t exist, [it] cannot be faulted for inaccuracy. But it seems real, anyway: an evocative composite of Mayan and Cambodian details, lost in an impenetrable jungle of Disney foliage, swathed in Indy’s jerry-rigged scaffolding, and brought into temporal alignment with the rest of Adventureland (and The African Queen) by repeated references to the 1930s and the ragged end of empire. ... It is the most architectural of all the Disney attractions, telling its story and achieving its dramatic impact through a carefully orchestrated sequence of interior and exterior spaces." (Marling, 1997, p.113)

As the conscious or unconscious inheritor of traditions laid down by the pavilion-temples, Marling is correct to mention the ‘Mayan and Cambodian details’ influencing the Disney temple, as were discussed earlier. Outwardly, though, the Disney temple bears the strongest affinity to Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu. As such, the architectural representation of India in colonial displays will now be discussed.
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Lucky Lucan » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:29 am

kinard wrote:Image

Must have been pretty amazing at the time. I'm not sure, but I think the Angkor exhibit of the 1906 expo stayed erected for many years. Here it is at the '30s expo; note Phsar Thmei exhibit in backround


The 1906 one was in Marseille, that's the 1931 Paris one in the photo. I'm amazed by Psah Thmei in the background though!
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Lucky Lucan » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:33 am

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1922 postcard from Marseille.

There were quite a few of these apparently, the 1906 Marseille one, one in 1907 in Paris, another in 1922 in Marseille and then the last French ones in 1931 and 1937.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_exhibition
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby kinard » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:20 am

Lucky Lucan wrote:
kinard wrote:Image

Must have been pretty amazing at the time. I'm not sure, but I think the Angkor exhibit of the 1906 expo stayed erected for many years. Here it is at the '30s expo; note Phsar Thmei exhibit in backround


The 1906 one was in Marseille, that's the 1931 Paris one in the photo. I'm amazed by Psah Thmei in the background though!

Yeah, something of an anomaly. I thinking now that is actually a pavilion, not a Phsar Thmei exhibit and perhaps the market was styled off that, being that the below pic is 1931 - the market was built in Phnom Penh1935-7- and as there was yet another expo in 1937, I initially thought that Phsar Thmei was an exhibit at the '37 show. The French love an expo; they put on another one in 1928.
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Re: Angkor Wat Da... New Attraction in China

Postby Miguelito » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:41 am

I updated my previous post with the text from the article. And here's a picture from the 1931 exhibit:

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