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 loss is permanent, as this recent example shows. The sign was on the main road into Kratie and instructed people to “hand all weapons to the authorities”. This has clearly been deemed unnecessary now and the sign taken down.
This evolution in the hand-painted landscape is one of the reasons why I believe the book is important. It documents something that is on its way out and there are already many examples where the original signs are now more. This aim of the project is in line with my previous work on Ghostsigns which continues with the recording of ‘reveals‘ and losses (‘RIPs‘) to the world’s collective ghostsigns.
Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie therefore serves an historical purpose for the town, the province and more widely in Cambodia. This sign at least now has a permanent home now it has lost its place in Kratie.