comic art by Uth Roeun

Uth Roeun is famed for his skillful depiction of everyday Cambodian life, which he has applied to traditional Khmer stories. He began publishing comics in the 1960s, taking inspiration from Khmer traditional art as well as diverse influences from film and print. He has worked in many roles, as a painter, designer and illustrator. His talent saved his life during the Khmer Rouge time, where he was required to draw construction plans for "the organization".

His diverse stories have consistently been reprinted in pre and post revolutionary Cambodia (often unauthorized). He retired from his work as Department Chief for Publishing at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in 2001. He is currently the President of the Association of Cambodian Artist Friends, located at Wat Phnom.

comic art by Uth Roeun

There are many other artists in the 1960s that helped shaped Cambodian comics. There's not much information about them and also many of them were killed under the Pol Pot/ Khmer Rouge Era leaving only a few traces of their art behind. Roeun is often credited for the first Cambodian comic strip in 1963. His second story, 'Preah Thuong Neang', was published in 1964 and dealt with Muslims. It even got his arrested. A revival during the Vietnamese occupation in the 1980s, provided an outlet for artists and writers to address social issues in a popular art form. And they were comic books. Subjects such as Romance and about social issues were popular in comics.

Series and books by Uth Roeun in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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