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Cambodian Art: No Damage is Beyond Restoration

{Charcoal painting by Narath Tan, 1990s, click on image to read more on the artist}

Cambodian Artists Recover From the Tragic Past

According to recent article, a small artistic community is emerging after the Khmer Rouge reign, which killed an estimated 90% of the country's artists. This small group consists of only 50 or so artists out of 14 million people. The recent artistic revival has been credited to governments and NGOs {Non-governmental organizations } who have contributed to the preservation of Cambodian culture and to the tourist market which brings in the majority of an artist's income making Angkor-inspired paintings and sculptures.

{Svay Pithoubandith carving Angkor-inspired sculpture}

Khmer artists choose to express themselves either by making traditional Khmer art using traditional techniques, making modern art through traditional techniques but without Western influence in expressing or depicting recent and modern events such as the Khmer Rouge killings, or using Western influences on techniques to express Khmer cultural symbols.

{Western influenced painting by Emmanuel Nhean}

‘‘You can cut me off from anything but not from my creativity and imagination,” and, ‘‘I will sacrifice anything to let the world experience the recent Cambodian tragedy through my art work.”

~Cambodian artist Chanthou oeur.

Resources to learn more and support Khmer art

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