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Resources > Collections > Artwork Preah Lak fighting Virulmuk Koma

Year of execution:  2013
Year of acquisition:  2013
Medium:   Cowhide leather mounted on bamboo
Dimension:  143 cm (height)  cm
Acquired in 2013

Sovanna Phum Art Association is a shadow puppet theatre company based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Sovanna Phum, which means ‘Golden Village’ in Khmer, was founded in 1993 by self-taught puppet maker Mann Kosal and French circus performer Delphine Kasam. The group performs two forms of traditional shadow puppetry, Sbek Thom and Sbek Touch. They also conduct regular training and education programmes on shadow puppet making and performing.

Preah Leak was sent by his half-brother, Preah Ream, to fight Enthachi in the battle of Lanka. Preah Leak is depicted with a slim, delicate figure compared to his muscular competitor Virulmuk Koma, who is a member of Enthachi’s army. Although Virulmuk Koma is not a member of the royal family, both men are depicted in their ornate and jewel-encrusted garb, as well as a towering mokot, or carved traditional Cambodian headwear, on top of their heads. This might refer to a scene where Virulmuk Koma transforms into Enthachi as a decoy while the actual Enthachi strikes from the clouds. Their pose mirrors each other as both men prepare to draw their bow behind their backs.


Sovanna Phum Art Association