In 2014, Noel Hidalgo Tan and his colleagues published the discovery of “invisible” paintings on the walls of Angkor Wat. These paintings, found throughout the temple, are mostly invisible to the naked eye. Some are entire wall murals, apparently unfinished. This talk will reveal these invisible paintings, along with other historical graffiti found at the site.
The post-Angkorian period paintings and engravings at Angkor Wat illustrate its long history of occupation, reuse, and conversion. They counter the common misconception that the temple was abandoned to the jungle before being “rediscovered” by the French and the Western world in the 19th century.
About the speaker
Noel Hidalgo Tan is the senior specialist in archaeology at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) in Bangkok. Born and raised in Singapore, he has an MA from Universiti Sains Malaysia, and PhD from Australian National University, where he studied the rock art of Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Through his work in SEAMEO SPAFA, Noel develops regional projects in underwater cultural heritage and archaeo-tourism, and is managing editor of the SPAFA Journal (www.spafajournal.org). He cultivates a wider interest in the archaeology of Southeast Asia through his website, www.southeastasianarchaeology.com
Image: Enhanced photo revealing a painted stupa on the walls of Angkor Wat. It is barely visible to the naked eye. (Photo courtesy of Noel Hidalgo Tan)