Leang Seckon
World Born
Mixed media and collage on canvas
200 x 200 cm (79 x 79 in)

Every day, the young people of this new generation think about birth and growing up. First, growing up and feeding; but sustenance is also needed to maintain village, district, city and country as well. And so the earth does not grow, it only shrinks.

High-rise buildings are knocked down in one day.

Mountains grow taller and taller until one day they explode.

Before I was born, my dad dreamed about an old man wearing white. The old man rode a horse and stopped in front of my dad’s house, leaving a package with him. The old man said, “There is a great son to be born”. But when I was born, I was very hard to take care of. The reality seemed different from the dream.

When I was three years old, I got a fever and slept at my grandmother’s house. I saw an old man sitting on a roof wearing white, with wide-open eyes and a big mouth. He looked scary, but I really wanted to see him. He looked familiar, like the old man in my dad’s dream. So I thought, “In my life, there will be many difficulties”.

The old man showed me a knife to fight bad people.

The knife is a paintbrush with colours.

When I was five years old, I saw a cow give birth to its calf. I was so nervous, my body was shaking. I could not walk. I cried and looked for help. Then, I never wanted to know how people gave birth.