Leang Seckon
Dead and Reborn Again
Mixed media on canvas
200 x 200 (78.75 x 78.75 in)

In this work, a secret box contains thirty-three letters of the Khmer alphabet, and the word ‘Khmer’ takes the shape of a seated figure with a sword or a headless body. I think the image of a headless body is an awful one. How can we make ourselves fortunate? The Khmer alphabet starts with ‘kor’ (ក), which also means ‘neck’, or ‘a body without a head’. It ends with ‘or’ (អ), which means ‘elation’. I believe that, as human beings, we have to do good things, we have to protect fellow living beings and our land. The first to thirty-second letters should start from us being good children to our parents. The thirty-third should involve being loyal to our motherland. As human beings, we have to strive to learn many different branches of knowledge. Our weapons are our pens, and our brushes. We can find a head for our body, which is the virtue of our motherland, of our parents and of our knowledge. These will make us fortunate and victorious in our mission to be the wielders of our own fates on this earth.

- Leang Seckon, 2017