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Chris Rainier, “Sacred: Angkor Wat”

Sacred temples by National Geographic photographer Chris Rainier, with music Anoushka Shankar.

Angkor Wat is one of more than a dozen magnificent temples in the vast metropolis of Angkor, Cambodia, the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th centuries. It was built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and part of his capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation — first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors. Within Angkor Wat, carved bas-reliefs illustrate scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata—epic poems that are also sacred Hindu texts.


Sacred: Angkor Wat (2007) toured through Streaming Museum’s international network of big screens, and was exhibited at Digital Art @Google, a 3-exhibition and public programs series at Google headquarters, NYC in 2010, curated and produced by Streaming Museum founder, Nina Colosi.


National Geographic explorer/photographer Chris Rainer uses photography and advanced digital and web technology to honor and document threatened cultures.

Chris Rainier is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. His life’s mission is to film the remaining natural wilderness and indigenous cultures around the globe and to use images to create social change. Rainier co-directs the National Geographic Society’s Cultural Ethnosphere and All Roads Photography Programs. He is a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine, contributing photographer for National Geographic Adventure magazine; a correspondent on photography for NPR’s Day to Day radio show. Rainier heads National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project, which is documenting the world’s most endangered languages.

Rainier has traveled to seven continents, making extensive expeditions throughout Africa, Antarctica, and New Guinea. His photography has been seen in Time, Life, Smithsonian, the New York Times, Outside and publications of the National Geographic Society. Rainier has photographed global culture and conflict, famine, and war in such places as Somalia, Sarajevo/Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Iraq. He has won awards for his photography, including the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award given by the Explorers Club for adventure stories. Rainier’s photography has been shown and collected by museums around the world, including the Australian Museum in Sydney, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the International Center of Photography in New York, the George Eastman House International Museum in Rochester, New York, and the United Nations. His books include: Keepers Of The Spirit, Where Masks Still Dance: New Guinea, Ancient Marks. From 1980 to 1985, Rainier was photographic assistant to Ansel Adams – the noted landscape photographer.


Pt. Ravi Shankar’s third child and second daughter is Anoushka Shankar who was born on 9th June 1981 whose mother is Sukanya Rajan and she had her training on Sitar under her father himself becoming ready to give her first public performance at the age of 13, while her first album was released in 1998, which was to be followed by another five studio albums, her albums now being released every year.

She played sitar in 2003 to commemorate the first death anniversary of George Harrison in the performance called Concert for George, while in 2004 she worked for Ancient Marks which is Ethan Boehme’s short film, by composing music and recording sound track. It was in the same year, she got nominated for the Best Supporting Actress for her debut role in Dance like a Man, in India’s National Film Awards, while in 2006 she played Sitar for the film Water on the soundtrack.

Anoushka is a honour’s graduate of 1999, she chose to take her career in music and she is well settled in married life, with her husband British Director Joe Wright and her son Zubin Shankar Wright who was born on 22 February 2011.


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