12/13/2016 – 2/16/2017
Curator: Jan Dotřel
Jewellery designer Viktorie Beldová had decided to create regalia for the king of Cambodia. She even set out for his country of birth with the intention to offer it to the king himself, who has an affinity for the Czechs. Now, the series of jewels dedicated to the reigning monarch, Norodom Sihamoni, is exhibited at Kvalitář gallery in a show called Crown for the Cambodian King.
Viktorie hasn’t decided for her work on the crown jewels per chance. Her ancestry from the Belda family are the caretakers of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas for several decades now. Both her father and grandfather had even worked on its replica. The young designer simply reassumed a family tradition. She only had to find a sovereign lacking a crown. Finaly, the ruler of the asian country, who had lived in Czechoslovakia for a few years and speaks Czech fluently, was chosen. The original Cambodian regalia had been lost as a result of war events. Viktorie was thus free to create an adequate replacement.
Angkor Wat temple in Cambodian jungle served as a source of inspiration for Viktorie. “The final design is made like a rim – a circlet around the head connected with seven beams that approximate the Angkor tower and so constitute the basis of the crown, informing its general shape,” the designer outlines the process of the crown’s conception. Besides, in her work, symbolism plays a major role. We are therefore able to decipher on the crown the motives of the lotus flower or Bodhi tree, both important signs of Cambodian culture. Gold and silver had been selected by the designer as the main materials. The techniques were then adapted for Cambodian manufacturing possibilities, so that the regalia could be made there as well.
Partly to draw inspiration, partly to try to personally meet the king, the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design graduate set out twice for Cambodia. So far she hasn’t succeeded. She doesn’t despond, however, in her prospect of presenting the crown jewels to the king.