Svay Ken, born in 1933, is known for telling his story through painting. Through light brushstrokes, he depicts story telling of events that occurred in his life and his family. From story telling to teaching moral conduct, Svay Ken said that he wanted to capture reality for the future generations to remember what it was like then: preserving the present and the memory of the past. From his Khmer rouge experience to street vendors, Svay Ken tells us more than his story but the social life and material culture of Cambodia.
His still life paintings are not very known yet Svay Ken shows
another aspect of his talents. This is the story telling of everyday
objects in Cambodia; objects that few cares to look as subject of
art. He paints jars with marinated fruits, oil lamps, a pair of scale
etc. He painted these objects when he had no story to tell. Does art
has to tell a story?
I make my painting so that future generations can ponder on the question: “How life was then and how life is now?”