The Magical Glow of ANGKORIAN AETHER
In 2004, my good friend Jing Ramos and I flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia to see the temples. We stayed at a private home owned by a couple of educators and moved to Grand Hotel d’Angkor on our last day.My recent holiday collection for FashionWatch called ANGKORIAN AETHER is colored by our adventures, and misadventures in that holy land of Devatas and Apsaras…
There, we saw portraits of the hotel’s famous guests: Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, so on and so forth… Transfixing us however, were images of Lee Radziwill and Jackie O. Thus on our last day, we traveled to BANTEAY SREI, the Temple for Women, and took on the roles of the two sisters.
Devatas @ Angkor Wat
Hoping to capture the olfactory flavor of Angkor Wat, I painted ANGKORIAN AETHER with a palette of peppercorn brown, Cardamom grey, Paprika, Saffron, Cayenne, Clove, Dried Rose, Bay Leaf green, Turmeric and so forth…
Colors and textures reverberated with the palpable spiritual energy of Siem Reap. I remember the hue of Vishnu Blue at sunrise, the vivid green of statuesque Sugar Palm trees against terracotta grounds at midday, and the auric horizon illuminating saffron robes of juvenile monks at dusk.
We were hardly Lee and Jackie in cotton tank tops , utilitarian shorts and sandals. However, the weather, scorching heat and budget called for such mundane attire but I swore to return dressed more stylishly-- not like the backpacking travellers that we seemed to be.