001.jpg-10 copy“Devata” is the continuation of Sothea Tang’s first sculptural series “Manu” (2015). “Manu” a word meaning humanity in Khmer, featured sculptures made of hemp, iron and steel in a representation of human development. Whereas “Manu” sought to embody humankind through earthen materials and anthropomorphic features, “Devata” progresses beyond such forms through greater focus on the beauty found in the divine.
Although “Devata” comes from the Hindu term for deity, the word in Khmer means more specifically angel. While the figures of “Manu” suggest a deified realm, “Devata” extends this sentiment through sculptural emphasis on displays of peace and inherent power. As the higher progression of “Manu” the figures of “Devata” are sculpted in hemp, iron, and steel as well but Tang has sought to alter their forms to empower them with a greater sense of sacral energy. In “Devata” Tang retains the global aesthetic of his contemporary works while moving deeper into Cambodian traditional culture as a source of inspiration.