Museums, Exhibitions & GalleriesHeritage, archeology, sculpture

Angkor: Exploring Cambodia's Sacred City

Asian Civilisations Museum
Surface area
8,869 sq ft / 824m²
Completion date
Asian Civilisations Museums Angkor's entrance
GSM Project
Angkor: Exploring Cambodia's Sacred City


On Spring 2018, the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) opened the temporary exhibition Angkor: Exploring Cambodia's Sacred City, featuring rare Khmer sculptures along with French drawings, photographs and memorabilia from the collection of Guimet Museum in Paris.

How did our team connect the spectacularly architecture of Angkor Wat and its masterpieces, to the mystery of its discovery and the perspective of the French exploration?

Discovering Angkor from the perspective of French exploration

The first gallery is devoted to the French “discovery” and exploration of Angkor in the 19th century. We were inspired by the beautiful French paintings of Louis Delaporte. Visitors can have the feeling of discovery through the eyes of the French artist.

GSM Project
GSM Project
Connecting the two periods

In the second gallery, visitors enter in the Angkor Wat temple itself. We chose to organize a number of artifacts and sculptures related to Vishnu and his incarnations along a central axis with an aesthetic mandala on the floor, as a key design element with an authentic spiritual significance. These lines and geometric shapes became an important influence on the design direction.

Gold was chosen as a visual element to connect these two distant periods of time, as Angkor’s temples had originally been completely gilded, showing the shared decadence of Angkor in its glory days and of the art deco era in the roaring 20s.

GSM Project

“We wanted to recreate the sacred feeling of Angkor, not Angkor’s temple itself. With the use of colour, graphics, and lighting, we managed to share the spiritual mood of the place.”

Melissa Chan

Senior Graphic Designer, GSM Project

GSM Project
GSM Project
A seamless scenography

We used subtle colours to emulate the feeling of being in the temple, while windows punctuate the space and convey the notion of discovery and perspective. This playful repetition of pattern, materials and texture enhances the visitor experience, creating coherence throughout the galleries.

GSM Project
GSM Project


The exhibition Angkor is a major partnership between ACM and the Guimet Museum, featuring a collection of rare Asian artifacts and 19th-century French artworks that our team had the privilege to display in a very aesthetic and sensational space.