The 12th century City of Temples complex of Angkor Wat in northwest Cambodia constitutes the largest extant ancient religious complex in the world. Today the Angkor Archeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a tourist magnet drawing nearly a million annual visitors, and an active Thervada Buddhist Temple.
Cambodia-based, Hungarian photographer Antal Gabelics has created a mindblowing video (see below) exploring the current state of Angkor and the dynamic between the spiritual complex and the tourist destination. Here’s what he had to say about the project:
I wanted to explore the interrelation of traditional past and developing present at Angkor, and questions what they mean for the future of this historical and sacred site.Originally reserved for religious activities, these structures are now some of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. These timelapse-loop videos meld the experience of tourism at Angkor into surreal, kaleidoscopic images and sequences inspired by Theravada Buddhist mandalas,in which the frenetic activity of backpack-toting tourists passes like the shadows of ever moving clouds over the weathered, ancient stones.