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Title

Mukha-linga


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

The 'linga', the most sacred form of the powerful god Shiva, is composed of three parts: the square lower section, usually embedded in the earth, is associated with Brahma, the Creator; the octagonal mid-section, embedded within a seat or plinth known as the 'yoni', is associated with Vishnu, the Preserver; and the domed, cylindrical upper section is associated with Shiva, the Destroyer. This tripartite form symbolises the principle of transmigration ('samsara'): that all living beings are thought to exist within an eternal cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution, which continues throughout eternity.

This piece attests to the importance of Shaivism in Southeast Asia, where Shiva was the tutelary deity ('ishtadevata') of Jayavarman II, who in 802 CE established the Khmer empire. The 'linga' became the sacred icon of Jayavarman II's kingdom and through the cult of 'linga' worship consolidated the notion of the king as a 'devaraja' ('god-king').

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.311.


Details


Other Title

Shiva lingam stone


Place where the work was made

Cambodia


Cultural origin

Khmer


Date

7th century-8th century


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

stone


Dimensions

67.0 x 18.4 x 18.4 cm, 55.73 kg.


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1996


Accession number

477.1996



Place

Where the work was made
Cambodia

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies, Arts of Asia, 'New Dimensions', pg. 54-63, Hong Kong, Nov 2003-Dec 2003, 58 (colour illus.). no.9

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 311 (colour illus.).

Pratapaditya Pal, Orientations, 'Sensuous Spirituality: Hindu and Buddhist Art from the Indic Cultural Realm', pg. 80-87, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 80 (illus.; colour illus.). fig.1and 1a (detail)