Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Illustrating The Past

The excellent illustration above is taken from the HeritageWatch comic book, Wrath of the Phantom Army, part of their awareness campaign using radio and television commercials alongwith educational comics and storybooks, and aimed at Khmers and tourists alike, informing them of the looting and plundering that is affecting Cambodia's heritage.

The comic panel, and book, are the work of artist and professor Y Lida. In the mid-80s, he studied traditional Khmer art and cloth painting at the University of Fine Arts. In 1999 he began teaching at the same university, while his commercial work has focused mainly on painting and illustrations with much of it for nonprofit organisations like SIPAR, PSI, Room to Read and HeritageWatch.
What I'd like to see is a comic book of Y Lida's superb illustrations showing a series of Angkorean temples in their glorious heyday, juxtaposed with how they look today, either trampled underfoot by hordes of tourists or consumed by vegetation and jungle. Or how about a series of illustrations to accompany Geoff Ryman's novel, The King's Last Song, about life in the time of Jayavarman VII. Just a thought...

1 comment:

Erik Davis said...

Hey Andy, thanks as always for the great page. Y Lida is a fantastic illustrator. He illustrated what was and is my eldest child's favorite storybook, "Sophie Loves Books," about a young girl who struggles against the odds to go to school. It's bilingual and tremendous.
Lida also illustrated the first issue of the Buddhist Institute's four-issue compilation of "New Khmer Folktales." The title is a bit misleading, since the 'newness' refers to the collection of the folktales, rather than the folktales themselves, which tend to be quite old. I worked closely with this project, and have posted PDF files of all four to my own page, here. A link directly to the first issue, illustrated by Y Lida, is here.

And oh yes, just as soon as the publishers get off their lazy behinds and release The King's Last Song in the US, the very next step should be an illustrated version. Heck, I'd even love a movie. That book is astonishing.