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The Trace of King Suryavarman I: The Greatest King of Khmer Empire Establishing Tremendous Territories and Temple in 11th Century

King Suryavarman I (1002 – 1050 AD), a great Khmer king of the Angkor period of Cambodian history, marks a turning point in the history of Cambodia. Some scholars researched that he is ancestry to a homeland Malaysia. Suryavarman sized King Udayadityavarman I throne (1001-1002 AD), and defeated his enemy in 1002 AD. He put up a brainy fight with Udatadityavarman I for throne coup. After a sustained war with Udayadityavarman’s successor, Jyaviravarman (1002-1010 AD), Suryavarman I claimed him as a king in his throne in 1010. He established Phimeanakas and Western Baray, and Khmer center at Louvo (Lopburi). As a Mahayana Buddhist, Suryavarman I was tolerant of the growing Theravada Buddhist presence in the Khmer empire.1) The king and his successors extended the boundaries of the Khmer territory far and wide. Under his reign, his troops seized Champa and Annam (in present-day Vietnam), including the lands north of the Menam Valley in modern Thailand. The reign of Suryavarman I is recorded on Khmer stones inscription, and one of them is now in the National Museum at Phnom Penh, Cambodia (see fig. 1: old Khmer and Sanskrit languages written on stone (55 cm), circa 11th c. AD, stating the king Surya Varman I […]

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History of Collecting Chinese Arts: Collecting Ancient Chinese Ceramics as “Pusaka”, Ethnographic and Historical Value for Asian Collectors

Chinese ceramic was considered as a primary source of inspiration, artists express attitudes, feelings, and sentiments about environment through personal experience, social interaction, and relationships with the natural world. More importantly, since Neolithic period, Chinese ceramic has played an extraordinary role in China, especially with regard to utilitarian use and primary religious.  It was produced between 6000 and 1000 B.C that comprises from bowls, jars, vases and beakers of low-fires earthenware. In the later reigns, China became the greatest and most widespread empire in the world. The earthenware was developed in more complex technique, and the materials structures of ceramic were improved to be more perfect. The ceramic style pertaining to shape, color, glaze, and technique was more dynamic and high-fired temperature in the form what is commonly called as Chinese porcelain. Since several centuries ago, Chinese ceramic has been considered an important commodity and a valuable medium to export abroad. Southeast Asian countries, especially Java, Srivijaya or Malay, Vietnam and Thailand kingdoms, had been targeted as China’s main destination for trade and diplomatic affairs since the early century. With their posteriority and as the main stripe of trade between China and abroad, Chinese ceramics were considered as valuable collections […]

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King Airlangga of Kahuripan Kingdom: The Great King in Asia History Creating the Great Vision in 11th Century

Narrating about the king Airlangga of Kahuripan Kingdom in Java – Indonesia is universally appealing, and he is usually attributed to the hero and Vishnu god in his throne. King Airlangga is a prominent figure who gave his life and efforts to something bigger than his dreams, which many historical documents reveal he evoked a great contribution on politics, religion and trade relations among Java, Sumatra and rest Asia countries in 11th century. He performed prodigies of strength and courage in pursuit of honor, power and authority to expand his territories and influence. The king is a figure endowed with the spirit of self-sacrifice, and he is a hero who would rather die than yield to his enemies. His endowments to his people and kingdom were recorded on manuscripts that have been memorably by his heirs until today. King Airlangga (1006 – 1049 AD) was born around 1000 AD in Bali. His father was King of Bali, King Udayana, and his mother was Mahendradatta, a great-grandchild of Mpu Sendok or Sri Isyana Wikramadharmottunggadewa (929 – 947 AD), the first king of Wangsa Isyana dynasty ruling Medang kingdom in Central and East Java. Mahendradatta was also a sister of Dharmawangsa Teguh […]

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The Oldest Buddhist Sculpture: The Discovery of 2nd Century Buddhist Buddhism Sculpture in Celebes

In 1921, a bronze Buddhist sculpture was found in estuary of Karama village, district. Sempaga, Mamuju, South Sulawesi (Ujung Pandang) – Indonesia. this Buddhist sculpture was dated to the 2nd century AD or older. Its physical condition is slightly incomplete, and the further excavation was held to find the complete fragments as well as to find evidence of Buddhist settlements in that site. However, the excavation did not succeed in giving definitive clue to reveal the existence of this Buddhist sculpture. Based on the location of the sculpture excavated, the bronze Buddhist sculpture was deliberately placed facing the sea that was believed to guard the people from enemies while protecting the sailors. These courses of action are prevalent in the practice of the Buddhists in mainland India.1) In 1931, the sculpture was ever exhibited at the Exposition Coloniale International or the International Colonial Exhibition in Paris – French. However, on June 28, 1931, this sculpture, along with other artifacts from the Dutch East Indies. was caught on fire. Now, the piece is preserved in the National Museum of Indonesia with inventory number 6057. Overall, the condition of the sculpture can still be observed, although some parts are missing and parts […]

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Tracing Back of Chinese Artifacts History: The Trading and Diplomacy Relationship Between China and Archipelago in Early Century

Located between two continents, Asia and Australia, Indonesia’s archipelago is often portrayed as a bridge connecting the two continents. According to historical researches, the archipelago has been visited by various nations of all over the world, including Asian, since long, long time ago. They crossed the sea separating Indonesia from Asia mainland. They came from Indochina and spread to the western parts. Those who came via Philippine’s archipelago spread to islands in Pacific Oceans and Australia. Others started from Indonesia to the west, crossing Indonesian Ocean to Madagascar1). In addition, situated on equator line and influenced by Indo-Australia monsoon, Indonesian Archipelago has tropical climate with high level of temperature, humidity, and rainfall. The monsoons strongly influence the sailing directions. Therefore, in the past people of various nations used the wind to make long distant voyages. So, there were areas whose trade and diplomatic activities boomed during the west monsoon, while others increased during the East monsoon. Monsoon did not influence only inter-island crossings, but also international voyages from and to Indonesia’s archipelago. Given the location of Indonesia’s archipelago is between Asia and Australia, it had become not only the crossing bridge for the prehistoric people but also – not less […]

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