Tags for: Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain
  • Special Exhibition
a group of people wearing HoloLens headsets look at a digital rendering of a cave

Digital rendering of “The Story of the Cleveland Krishna.” The mixed-reality tour culminates with a life-size holographic representation of the original cave temple on Phnom Da, where visitors are invited to walk around an artist’s re-creation of the sculpture as it might have stood. Photo and digital rendering: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Mixed-reality development partner: The Interactive Commons at Case Western Reserve University

Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain

Sunday, November 14, 2021–Sunday, January 30, 2022
Location:  003 Special Exhibition Hall
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall

About The Exhibition


FAQ  Press Kit  Digital Process  Lecture: Behind the Scenes

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Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain presents the story, context, and new restoration of a masterwork in the museum’s collection, Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan. The 1,500-year-old stone sculpture from Cambodia, larger than life size, depicts the young Hindu god in the superhuman act of shielding his people from destruction. 


Featuring an immersive, mixed-reality HoloLens tour, the exhibition places the sculpture in the southern Cambodian landscape and sacred space from which it came. In partnership with the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh and the Angkor Borei Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art is displaying the newly restored work alongside other large-scale early sculptures from Phnom Da, generously lent from the National Museum and the Musée national des arts asiatiques–Guimet in Paris. Revealing Krishna illuminates the effect of global changes over the past 1,500 years on the discovery, disposition, and conservation of the sculptures from one of the earliest major Hindu sites in Southeast Asia.   

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The opening gallery transports visitors along a canal passage to the small twin-peaked mountain of Phnom Da where the Cleveland Krishna was found. Immersive projections on three walls and a soundscape recorded in Cambodia create a cinematic experience of the landscape where the sculpture was made. The first sculpture gallery presents art from the ancient city adjacent to Krishna’s sacred mountain, called Angkor Borei, or “Capital City,” in the Khmer language. The global story of the sculpture unfolds in a mixed-reality tour spanning 15 centuries and three continents. Visitors wearing HoloLens 2 headsets see high-resolution 3-D holographic projections of sculptural pieces accompanied by spatial audio and narration as they experience the myth of Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan and come to understand the sculpture’s history. The tour culminates in a life-size holographic projection of the cave temple on Phnom Da where the Cleveland Krishna appears to have stood. Visitors enter the sanctuary to find an artist’s re-creation of the sculpture showing Krishna supporting the mountain in which he stands.

Visitors then travel to the next gallery, where they see the newly restored Krishna sculptures, both from Cleveland and Phnom Penh, on view together for the first time. Accompanying them are three other large-scale early stone sculptures found on or near Phnom Da. 

Dark room with 8 projection screens with life-size sculpture

All eight gods from Phnom Da are reunited digitally in the next gallery in elegant, interactive projections. Created from a combination of photogrammetry and LiDAR scanning of the sculptures, 3-D models of the eight magnificent images are projected on individual scrims to be seen together at life-size scale as never before. In the final gallery of the exhibition, wrapping across two walls, archival photographs of the eight sculptures interface with historical images, present-day footage, and animated maps to illustrate the importance of open dialogue and mutual sharing of resources in the preservation of cultural heritage. 

person views a panoramic configuration of screens with maps on them



The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and in collaboration with the National Museum of Cambodia, the École française d’Extrême-Orient, and the Musée national des arts asiatiques–Guimet.

seal for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia
logo for National Museum of Cambodia
logo of the École française d’Extrême-Orient
logo for Musée national des arts asiatiques–Guimet

Principal support is provided by Rebecca and Irad Carmi, Mary Lynn Durham and William Roj, and the Rajadhyaksha Family and DLZ Corporation. Major support is provided by Raj and Karen Aggarwal, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky, Carl T. Jagatich, the John D. Proctor Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Westlake Jr., and in memory of Dr. Norman Zaworski, MD. Generous support is provided by Dr. Michael and Mrs. Catherine Keith.

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The Official Technology Partner is Microsoft.

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This exhibition is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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“The Story of the Cleveland Krishna” HoloLens Experience was developed in collaboration with the mixed-reality development partner the Interactive Commons at Case Western Reserve University.

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All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Generous annual support is provided by an anonymous supporter, Dr. Ben H. and Julia Brouhard, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, Anne H. Weil, and the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

We recognize Dr. Gregory M. Videtic and Mr. Christopher R. McCann, who are graciously linked to this exhibition through the Leadership Circle.

The restoration of Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan, expertly undertaken by Cleveland Museum of Art conservation specialists, was funded by a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.