Category: Sign Features

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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Signs of Cambodia in the Mekong Delta

While traveling in Vietnam after my time in Cambodia I was surprised to find few painted signs remaining on the streets. However, when I reached the the Mekong Delta in the far South, the density seemed to increase all of

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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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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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Natural Wonders on the West Bank of the Mekong

Hand-painted sign showing various animals at a watering hole

Soon after publishing Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie I took a tour to the West bank of the Mekong river. After living for two years on the East bank, where Kratie Town is situated, it was odd that I’d never been

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Guest post for Eye Magazine blog

Cambodian hand-painted sign for TV and watch repairs

Eye Magazine is a leading design publication and they kindly invited me to write a guest post about Cambodia’s hand-painted signs. This give a flavour of the book and features some of my favourite images, including the one above which

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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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Signs of change in Kratie

Hand-painted shop fascia for Pal Nget photo shop

More examples today of the changing face of Kratie’s signage and, in the case of Pal Nget’s printing shop above, the loss of a hand-painted sign and the introduction of a big and bold printed update. This type of ‘organic’

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Losing hand-painted signs in Kratie

Before and after photos showing the loss of a hand-painted sign in Kratie

Change in the world of Kratie’s hand-painted signs is rapid. In most cases signs are lost when new digital printed creations replace them. This can happen ‘naturally’ or through the interference of people like me. However, in some instances, the

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Before and after: Dara Music Group

Hand-painted sign advertising Dara Music Group in Kratie, Cambodia

Dara means star in Khmer and this sign for a music group had sufficient star quality to make it onto my acquisitions short list. Following the purchase of the original hand-painted sign, the business owners have taken less than a month

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Is this my favourite hand-painted sign in Cambodia?

Colourful 1970s looking hand-painted sign in Kampong Cham, Cambodia, showing off some buffon women's hair styles

This amazing sign is from Kampong Cham, the province to the South of Kratie. It’s certainly in my top three of all time, what’s not to like? It’s remarkable that such a striking piece of Cambodian sign painting is almost

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White rabbits on Cambodian signs

Hand painted sign showing a white rabbit directing visitors to the cultural centre at Yeak Loam lake in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri

White rabbits make an unusually frequent appearance on hand-painted signs in Cambodia. The one above is from the Yeak Loam lake in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri. It turns out that the white rabbit is a symbol of good luck in Cambodia,

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Phnom Penh ghostsign

The most common painted signs in Cambodia are those found on signboards. Examples on walls are almost non-existent. However, there is this large scale ghostsign discovered by Sebastien Ardouin of the Painted Signs and Mosaics blog. It looks very old but Sebastien

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