Monday, August 5, 2013

Mixed emotions

A Vann Nath original, showing a scene from Tuol Sleng/S-21
Lots of emotions tonight. Spent a good hour with Vann Nath's widow earlier, at their restaurant, which is no longer open, unless someone pops in for coffee. We talked about his paintings obviously, about his life, their life together, their wedding day and how tough life is now that the artist and former Tuol Sleng survivor is no longer around. He died in September 2011. It's hard making ends meet with children and grandchildren to look after. She has three original paintings that she holds dear, as well as a series of sketches and limited edition fine art prints. It's not much left over from her husband's collection. Many of his original paintings were sold off to fund his medical bills. The visit was one of mixed emotions and left me with a desire to see Kith Eng navigate her way through these tough times, though she really needs good advice from friends she can trust. I hope they come through for her. These are two of Vann Nath's original paintings, one set in the cells at Tuol Sleng (which is showing signs of wear and tear), the other painted after he returned from a trip to France, and was one of the final paintings he finished in 2011.
Another Vann Nath original, painted in 2011 after a visit to France - click to enlarge

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