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History of Art & Visual Culture
Nang Sbek Thom, or large leather figures in Khmer, remains as ancient art form that emerged during the Angkor Period of 12th century Cambodia. The traditional performance for Sbek Thom is the Reamker, a buddhist adaptation of the Indian epic poem, the Ramayana.
Mary Thomas, PhD candidate in History of Art and Visual Culture, describes the work of artist Noah Purifoy who, after the Watts uprising in 1965, collected parts of melted neon signs and turned them into sculptures.
"I like to think of my work as excavating value systems and thought processes of people of a gone era - their beliefs and their experiences, and how they use literary and visual material to communicate, to negotiate their place into the world, to develop their beliefs.