Inside a cottage courtyard, architect and sculptor Lok Tha Dy Proeung has painstakingly recreated elaborate models of Angkor Wat’s rose-pink sandstone towers, soaring pediments and defensive moats, all built to scale. The inspired museum-residence represents Proeung’s life’s work, and the story behind its creation is just as remarkable as the miniature Temple City itself.
As a young man, Proeung was enamoured by Angkor Wat and drew detailed drawings of the temple complex. After graduating from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, he landed his dream job working with the Angkor Conservation. Then in 1975, Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge came to power putting Proeung’s life at risk as he was considered an artist and intellectual.
Rather than burn his drawings and other evidence of his identity to protect himself during home raids by the regime, Proeung hid the documents deep in the forest behind the cottage where his mini-Angkor Wat museum now stands.
Watch Lok Tha Dy Proeung’s video interview on BBC here.