Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the Cambodian Artists Association “Heirs (of Cambodian Culture)” under the slogan – “Keep the Old, Create and Develop the New” [Unofficial Translation]



(1) Innovation must have Cambodian-style rule

Today, our theme is to inherit (as heirs to the Cambodian culture under) the slogan – “keep the old, create and develop new”. This is the right word and we should uphold it regularly. We cannot ignore or forget the existing achievements. We cannot ignore the achievements that the previous generations have left us, despite whatever evolution and development there may be. In art […] for innovation, new development, in particular, there must be a rule, which is the globalization of art culture. Cambodia is also developing its culture/arts, but it has to be done the Cambodian way. We do not copy the culture of any country […] we develop it according to a modern society, but the Cambodian style must be maintained […]

(2) Some art forms are at risk of extinction

While seeing progress in many arts, whereby our artists have played a very important role in preserving our cultural arts […] we also have some art forms that are at risk of being lost due to either lack of market or any other factors […] we have a research team at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (to conduct research and compilation of those arts), but our promotion seems to be falling behind […] for the works that we have to keep up safeguarding is – firstly, working together in research to compile and especially take care of the remaining artists […]; secondly, reach out through grouping and training and performance […]; and thirdly, inspire the masses, youth in all possible ways, to be active […]

(3) Artistic achievements to be created based on culture, and let us develop both contemporary and creative arts

May the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts continue to pay close attention to high-risk art forms, while at the same time – firstly, create artistic achievements based on cultural background […] and secondly, further develop both the contemporary and the creative arts that are attractive in line with the current situation. Keeping the old is important […] we do not create new and will only have the new but let the old disappear […] in this sense, I thank our artists who have worked hard in their own personal possibilities to promote all art forms, more or less […] some have even brought their arts to the international stage, […] Idol artists with tens of thousands of fans could be a n influential model for millions of young people […]

(4) Whether there is a market or not, we all have an obligation to preserve the ancestral cultural/artistic heritages

[…] I decided to set up a fund to help preserve high-risk art groups. It is in the sense of motivating and empowering, especially focusing on vulnerable forms […] there are things (that depend on) the market to survive sustainably, but there are things, especially cultural arts, which are the ancestral heritages, that we all have an obligation to keep alive, not to perish, whether there is or there is not a market […] In this market era, things need marketing to be sustainable. Where there is a shortage of market interest, the state, the philanthropists and all of us have an obligation to participate (to safeguard and maintain those cultural/artistic arts/artifacts) regarding of no benefits and marketing interest, because the protection and upkeeping of our ancestral heritages is of immense value that no budget can measure it. We must contribute to the protection (of our ancestral heritages) […]

(5) Establish a forum to raise awareness of culture and arts for the next Cambodian generation

I am asking HE Thong Khon and HE Vath Chamroeun to organize a free competition only for Khmer martial arts – whether it is Khmer martial arts, Bokator, Kaom, or Srongae Pen (a kind of martial art), etc. to compete to glorify revival. I think we can do the same for culture and arts. Let us create a forum, raise interest and awareness (of our culture and arts) […] we have researched and compiled many different performance art forms. We shall present them to the next generation of Cambodian children, who also want to learn about them […] let us promote artisitic development based on the Cambodian national cultural identity. We do not copy anyone’s culture to make it our own. We ourselves are doing them […] we can take the original art form and transform it in a different way to preserve it (and to make it grow) but they are still Cambodian […]

(6) Preserve and promote culture/arts in the art school but also through popular star activities

Art teachers and heroic artists are a repository of culture stored from previous generations […] and who will transfer and share to later generations. Art is not only trained in art schools. It must be widely practiced, especially artists, who are popular stars can help raise awareness […] if we Khmers do not take care of Khmer art No one came to take care of us. No one would safeguard the Cambodian culture and arts for us Cambodians. Should we, from one generation to another, constantly deviate from the original or let our identity to slip through, we will lose them all […] (in this regard,) the partnership between the state and the private sector, the state and the civil society organizations, or the state with all sectors together, must embark of the path of “help think, help do and help take responsibility” to protect and preserve our arts/culture […] as they are the soul of the nation […]


(7) In principle, there will be tax exemption for the production of cultural feats, financial help to the CAA and the First Lady to become the Board Chairman

I agree in principle to the request of Nak Oknha, the President of the (Cambodian Artists) Association, to apply a tax exemption for the production of cultural feats/works of the Cambodian Artists Association (CAA) […] I would like to contribute to CAA a sum of US$100,000 per year for five years […] I lobbied my wife to be the chairman of the board. She agreed […] let us continue to work together to leave (a legacy) for our children. Wherever we go, we can see the Khmer arts, the royal dance performance, and we are proud. Seeing the Khmer performance arts and our artists walking the red carpet at Cane, we are happy to support it, as the Cambodians are together like this. In addition to our territory, culture, art, religion, language itself are keeping and presenting our national identity […]./.