Srivijaya Art of Buddha Images
(Circa 7th-14th centuries AD)


Srivijaya is the name for the kindom and art in southern Thailand. In fact around the 7th-14th centuries AD the Srivijaya kingdom had her territory stretching from the central-south of Thailand to the malaya Peninsula, including Sumatra and Java Islands. Howere, after the fall of the Sai Raintara Dynasty, the center of government was shifted to the City of Tam Pornli8nk (Nakhon Si Thammarat). In the 13th-14th centuries AD that the Khmer and Sukhothai Kingdoms governed the Srivijaya Kingdom, it became weakened so that the two island kingdoms as well as the southern part of the Malaya Peninsula had declared their independence. Their Buddhist and Brahman culture had transformed to Islamic culture. Thereafter, these two islands became Indonesia and Malaysia. The reason was that after the 20th century AD several historians and archaeologists including Indonesian archaeologists themselves have admitted that the stone scripture and evidence subsequently found, demonstrating that the Srivijaya Kingdom had her capital at Chaiya District, Surat Thani. These people were the one who invaded the tow island kingdoms. That was the time of prosperity, the Srivijaya Kingdom had expanded her territory as well as the relocation of the principality to Sumatra Island, especially as an instrument state to collect levy for ships passing through the Straits of Malacca. The material growth and development had been transferred to Sumatra Island more than the capital. The capital is like Washington D.C. while Sumatra Island the port city of New York. Thus, the Srivijaya Art also includes the arts demonstrated in southern Thailand and those found in different areas of Sumatra and Java Islands. The Srivijaya Art can be divided into 2 major periods as follows:

The Srivijaya Art before the establishment of the kingdom:
  1. Srivijaya Art of Indian Civilization (3rd-5th centuries AD)
  2. Srivijaya Art of Khmer Form I (3rd-7th centuries AD)

The Srivijaya Art after the establishment of the kingdom:

  1. Srivijaya Art Dvaravati Form (7th-9th centuries AD)
  2. Srivijaya Art of Indian,Java and Sumatra Forms (8th-13th centuries AD)
  3. Srivijaya Art of Khmer Form II (12th - 14th centuries AD)

From these factors it can be concluded that the Srivijaya Art after the establishment of the kingdom was like any other arts, i.e. it will turn with the historical wheel. And the art forms are mentioned above. Nevertheless, the most striking art form is the Srivijaya Art of Indian, Java and Sumatra Forms during the 8th-13th centuries AD. Especially in the 10th century AD when the Great King Raja governed the Jola Kingdom, he was in control of all the territories in southern India. He also ruled Sri Lanka and sent the armada to attack the Srivijaya Kingdom and other kingdoms along the shores of the Suwan Bhumi. The Jola Art of southern India had rapidly spread into the Srivijaya Kingdom. The strength of this art form is evident in the sculpture of famous Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in the kingdom. Not too long, however, the Srivijaya Art of Indian, Java and Sumatra Forms had subsided and lost its complexity. The Khmer and Sukhothai people, who were Hinayana Buddhist, later governed the Srivijaya Kingdom and in the 14th century AD the kingdom was annexed as part of Krung Sri Ayutthaya.


Table of content - Azibaza Home Page