Khmer Culture

Cambodian Arts

Traditional arts such as silk weaving, silverwork, sculpting, ceramics, murals, basketry, and kite-making have been practiced throughout Khmer history.

Cambodian arts is stunning architecture and stone carving survive from the Angkorian period and a tradition of modern art began in the twentieth century. 

Many artists lost their lives during the genocide years in Cambodia resulting in the decline of traditional and modern arts.  Some nearly died out, but thanks to the great effort by the government, there has been a resurgence and the world is able to continue enjoying Khmer arts.

Cambodian Arts
Cambodian Arts

Battambang, Cambodia’s second city, has developed a reputation as a hotbed for contemporary artists with several galleries displaying skillful and challenging works. It is also home to the famous circus school which has daily shows in Siem Reap and tours with international groups.

Cambodian living arts show

Traditional arts such as silverwork and silk-weaving have also seen a resurgence much to the delight of the many tourists that testify to the exceptional quality produced in Cambodia. There is a high demand for the Angkorian-style patterns and accuracy of Cambodian artisans. The Silk Island near Phnom Penh is home to many families who specialise in creating fine silk pieces.

Cambodian Silk Maker
Cambodian Silk Maker

When the Angkor temples started begin restored, a new generation of stonemasons have created. Many now carve traditional or modern designs and some specialise in Buddha statues. Cambodian statues and stone work have found in shops and yards all over the country.


Cambodian artists also make beautiful kites. Kite-making has a long history and it is most fortunate that this have revived in the 1990s. Cambodian Kite-makers cleverly attach a bow to the kites that vibrates in the wind making a musical sound. Many tourists take them home as gifts for loved ones.

Cambodian Silk
Cambodian Silk

The people from Koh Anlong Chen (Chinese Island) on the Tonle Sap Lake have renowned for their skill with silver and copper. It had passed down through the generations and their decorative plates, bracelets and ornamental swords are popular items for Khmer weddings and often bought as tourist souvenirs.

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