Category: Enthusiasts

Sat Lo, Hitler and Chaplin in Cambodia

Cambodian sign depicting Adolf Hitler

This painted Cambodian sign, advertising a ‘Welder of Metal’, is certainly one of the most curious I have come across so far. I first heard about it when it was advertised for sale, here on Khmer 440 Cambodian Forums. It

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Cambodian Goddesses by Steve Tierney

Painted sign in Cambodia showing a beautiful woman

Notions of beauty are discussed in one of chapters in the book, provoked by the many painted signs in Cambodia for hair and makeup shops. The depictions of women on these signs varies considerably, although they are often portrayed with

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On the Screens of Cambodia’s Hand-Painted Signs

Hand-painted sign in Cambodia showing content on the picture of a screen.

Gordon sent me this picture that I never saw while researching the book, Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie. It is from Roka Kandal, just South of Kratie town, and reads ‘Repair Television, Tape Player, VCD’ (VCDs are Video CDs). Like Gordon

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Cambodian Shop Signs by Joel Montague

Joel Montague has recently made a brilliant addition to the published material on Cambodia’s hand-painted signs. ‘Cambodian Shop Signs: Free-Market Signage in a Post-Marxist Society‘ is a detailed account of the form, featuring over 80 colour images. It is the

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Flying Condoms and Bambi from Alex Diment

Hand-painted Cambodian sign about sexual health

I love these public information/social campaigns captured by Alex Diment during his time working on landmine issues in North-West Cambodia. First up is a sexual health campaign from Kampong Thom province suggesting that using condoms can be as fun as

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Hand-painted Cambodian signs at trunkh.

Hand-painted Cambodian tailor sign for sale in trunkh.

The popularity of hand-painted signs in Cambodia seems to be increasing on a daily basis. During last week’s ‘road show’ to launch the book in Phnom Penh I learned of a new shop that, among many other things, is selling

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Another book: Carnet de rencontres au Cambodge: au fil des routes…

Cover of the book Carnet de rencontres au Cambodge

Hand-painted signs from Cambodia are clearly in vogue. This week I learned about the publication of another book on the topic, following Robert Joiner’s in 2005 and my own this month. The new book was launched with an exhibition in

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The Phnom Penh Look at Java Arts

Close-up of women depicted on a hand-painted beauty sign in Cambodia.

Cambodian hand-painted signs are clearly in vogue. Today sees the opening of the first of two exhibitions centred on the topic in Phnom Penh, the second being my own which will open on 4th December. (There is also the Fowler

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Koh Kong Blues

Hand-painted signs for a dentist in Koh Kong, Cambodia

We’ve currently got guests over from the UK and my wife has taken them to Koh Kong in the South West of the country from where she has sent this despatch of signs, all painted on blue in the traditional

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Cambodian Shop Signs in LA

Hand-painted Cambodian sign for a traditional medicine healer

The Fowler Museum at the University of California is holding a four-month exhibition from 2nd December featuring the collection of Joel Montague, part of which he has donated to them. The sign above is among those that will be exhibited.

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Hand Painted Signs of Cambodia Flickr group

If you haven’t done so already then I’d highly recommend browsing the Flickr group, Hand Painted Signs of Cambodia. It is a real treasure trove of content, mixing the beautiful, bizarre and bemusing in one nifty package. A number of

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Foreword from Joel Montague

Hand-painted sign on canvass in Cambodia showing a strong man and various animals

Joel Montague is a veteran of hand-painted signs in Cambodia and his collection is a unique record of those from the 1990s. I was fortunate enough to make contact with Joel in the USA ahead of publishing my book and

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Collage Art Posters from Steve Tierney

Collection of posters inspired by hand-painted signs in Cambodia

Steve Tierney is another enthusiast for Cambodia’s hand-painted signs. Whereas I have directed my own interest towards creating the book, Steve has interpreted the signs through his series of “Collage Art Posters”. I caught up with him to learn more

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Did you see this one? Sign Art in Cambodian Life

Hand-painted Cambodian sign showing a wedding scene and a spit roast pig in the background.

Robert Joiner is a New Zealand photo-journalist who spent the early part of the 2000s volunteering with the New Zealand Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA). Like me he was drawn to the hand-painted signs he discovered here and his images were

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Replica hand-painted signs at Bojangles in Phnom Penh

Hand-painted replica of Cambodian sign

This is one of a collection of replica hand-painted signs on display at Bojangles bar and restaurant on Phnom Penh’s riverfront. The signs are sold as souvenirs and aim to provide income for rural signpainters. They are scaled down from

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Collecting hand-painted signs from Kratie

Sam Roberts at home with his original hand-painted signs of Kratie

I’d been considering buying a handful of signs that I really like for a couple of weeks and had even got as far as opening negotiations with a couple of the owners. I then had to go to the countryside

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Guard dogs and film stars

Hand painted sign showing Cambodian film stars.

Working on the book has brought me into contact with a number of fellow enthusiasts. One of these, Cassandra Naji, has kindly shared a couple of her photos, so thank you Cassandra. The picture above, from Battambang, shows a number of

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