Interviews for the Flea Market of Memories


13/08/2011 Interviews for the Flea Market of Memories


San Sreymao, 26 years old, painting artist, from Ek Phnom district, Battambang province. Most of her works are story series paintings and different types of mixed paintings.

Pen tablet: It’s the pen that I asked my former boyfriend to buy from France. He said that this pen was very important for me as a painting artist and​ that I would need it. But the pen that he bought cannot be used for the drawing that I want, because this pen can only be used on paper, not on tablet. Before, I did not know about computer search. He bought the wrong pen. I’ve kept it and never used it. Now as our relationship ended, I don’t want to keep it anymore. Although this pen tablet is very meaningful to me, I want to exchange it for a graphic pen tablet with which I can draw on the computer’s monitor, and which is my daily work requirement.

Mirror: In fact, this mirror is my neighbor’s. I’ve been living in this house for 2 years. A few months ago, at the beginning of the rainy season, there was the first rainfall in Phnom Penh. The wind was blowing strongly. I saw this mirror at my neighbor’s house. The wind made it fall on the ground. When I arrived in this house for the first time, I also saw this mirror, but did not know it well, because it was not mine. When the rainfall made it fall on the ground, I thought that if I didn’t get it in my house, it could have been broken. In addition, as its owner kept it outside the house, I decided to get and keep it. Since I came to live in this house, I’ve never met its owner. So I’ve kept it in my house. Until now, I’ve never used it and put it aside in my house. So I think of exchange it for something that I may need



Vuth Lyno, 29 years old, lives in Phnom Penh. He is a photographer who is SaSa Project manager at the Building and has another job in the development field.

First photo: I bought this photo from an auction organized by a SaSa project supporting program in order to continue running a new program. A lot of Cambodian and international artists participated in this bid in which their artworks were displayed (photos and paintings). Among the works in this event, I was interested in my trainer’s work, so I bid 50$ for this photo as a souvenir (techniques on this photo are the use of a 3-eyed needle camera). He used a pin-holed camera. The reason why I decided to buy it is that I want to recall when I had been his student and to keep relationship between us as a trainer and a student. On the other hand, I want to keep it as a souvenir forever.

Second photo: Photo of “a tire-patching man, a fruits seller, a tricycle driver, a motorbike driver, a florist…” This is the photo of street merchants in Phnom Penh, which is my practice I did during my training (workshop).  It is a new idea and simple science in my thought. The camera that I used to take this photo is simply a Sony Camera. Taking photos was challenging, but made me happy; sometimes, I drove my motorbike during the day, sometimes during the night, and stopped to take photos of any interesting things that I met. Most people were looking at me with shyness and maybe wondering why I took photos of a motorbike’s driving mirror. But I was brave enough to take this photo in 2007 with other 13 students. After this photo was exhibited, I’ve kept it. One day, the school initiated a bid program to collect money for Japanese victims. In the bid, nobody bought my photos. So these two photos have been put aside. Now I want to put them in the Flea Market of Memories. If someone wants to exchange something for them, I maybe will accept the deal.



Siv Eng, 50 years old, a cook and cleaner.

Foldable bed: When I was with my husband, we lived in Ampil village, Sangkat Chroy Changvar, Phnom Penh. After the national elections in 2008, our relationship ended, then I came to live with my uncle near the 32-floor building in Phnom Penh. I used to sleep on the floor and mat. One day, my husband bought me a foldable bed. But, in fact, he bought it for some boys. Just after that, he bought me one, too. At that time, there was only one bed. We quarreled with each other to sleep on that bed. When he slept on it, he let me sleep on the mat on the floor. 3 years later, in August, we got separated. He didn’t give me anything, except the foldable bed. Then, I brought and kept it in my uncle’s house. A short while after, as his house’s space is too small, I brought it to Srey Mao’s.

Thermos bottle:  My uncle gave it to me last year as he saw that I was poor and didn’t have anything for use, and he wanted to buy a new one…. The rich buy new products and give us the old ones. Now I have no house, so I don’t need it and put it aside in the house of someone else. This thing hurts me and reminds me about my past time when I was with my husband. So I should exchange it for another thing.

Scale: I received this scale from my French boss. He gave it to me before he returned to his country after finishing his mission. I’ve kept this balance for 7 years. When it was used, it was put aside in the toilets and nobody cared about it. When I saw it, I wanted it. So he gave it to me before leaving Cambodia.

I’ve never used these things. I keep them at someone else’s house. So I want to exchange one of them for a 14-inch TV set that I can watch for entertainment in my room and work for my boss.


So Somros, security agent and waiter in Java Coffee.

Small table: This table is important to me. I’ve kept it for 10 years. It’s always been with me. 10 years ago, a Kampuchea State regime’s official employed me as a worker to guard his land. When he moved to his new house, as he hadn’t money in cash, he gave me this old wardrobe for compensation. I’ve kept it since I left him. It reminds the miserable living conditions that I experienced for 10 years when I was living with him, which are meaningless like this old table. Now I put it aside. Sometimes, grandma put her Sla Thor (a section of a banana leaf stem fitted with a stand and decorated with betel leaves, areca nut and flowers, which is used in certain religious ceremonies) in it. I think that if someone has something with a similar story to mine, I will exchange my table for it.


Thol Dina

Book: This is about love education for teens. Before marriage, the couple must do blood test for HIV, because teens in this era have …

The last bowl was created tonight.

We have the exhibition date & venue ready for the Bangkok Show.

29 September – 28 October 2011 at creative house …

Comments are closed.

Oeur Sokuntevy

Oeur Sokuntevy studied painting at the Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang and moved to Phnom Penh in 2007 to follow her chosen career path. Sokuntevy has had much interest in her work as one of the very few female contemporary artists currently showing in Cambodia. Sokuntevy’s painting style is rich by color and has a …

About SurVivArt

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung central office in Berlin, Germany in cooperation with some of its regionals offices develops SurVivart, a project which through artistic and cultural actions, will propose a reflection on how sustainable practices can be incorporated in everyday life. More

SurVivArt Exhibition 2012

    SurVivArt - Arts for the right to a Good Life
    Exhibition February 5 - 24, 2012

    at the galleries:

  • Meinblau
  • Mikael Andersen
  • Pfefferberg, Christinenstrasse 18/19, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

    Opening Sunday February 5, 2012. 18:00

    Pressekontakt Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung:
    Karoline Hutter, Pressesprecherin, E-Mail:, Tel.: 030 - 285 34-202
    Achim Klapp, E-Mail:,, Tel.: 030 - 257 97 016

To Live or to Live a Good Life

Latest Articles on SurVivArt

Posts archives

Media Partner