Hour Seyha

“I paint most of my work in the forest so I can be alone with myself and the art. I often hear strange things there, animal noises and even ghosts. Fear compels me to paint more. I find a lot of inspiration in the wild nature``

Visual Artist


“I have always considered myself a ``jungle boy.`` I spent my childhood in the forest in remote Anlong Veng province which remained a Khmer Rouge stronghold until 1998. Fear and the permanence of danger still guide my paintbrush today. After the war, seeking to escape the misery of poverty, my parents sent me at age 13 to work illegally on a Thai plantation. My experience of slavery ended in my arrest as an illegal immigrant and subsequent assistance by an organization who led me on a visual arts path. However, the empirical nature of my artistic education makes me consider myself a self-taught artist, having almost no early artistic point of reference other than religious frescoes in the local pagoda. I have a peculiar fascination with interstellar travel & natural disaster phenomena, an insatiable appetite to contemplate the universe, and deep concerns for the future of our planet.``
Hour was born in Oddar Meanchey (Cambodia) in 1991. He is married and has two children. Hour graduated from Phare Ponleu Selpak Visual Arts School in 2013 and lives and works at Romcheik 5 studios in Battambang, Cambodia.
About Romcheik 5 collective:
Romcheik 5 is the name of the neighbourhood of Battambang where, in 2012, 3 young cambodian artists have established their joint workshop and studios with the help of a donor.
- HOUR Seyha (born 1991)
- NGET Chanpenh (born 1993)
- MIL Chankrim (born 1991)
They all graduated from Phare Ponleu Selpak visual art school in 2013. But above all, they share the same rough personal background and history; one made of wounds, abandonment, irresponsible parents, exile, hard labour, distress and loneliness. After being expelled from Thailand where they were forced to work during their childhood, they were collected and sheltered by a NGO that has led them on the path of learning the visual arts. Despite their young age, and even before they graduated, they already participated in solo and duo exhibitions in Phnom Penh, and group exhibitions in France, Canada and of course Cambodia. Many of their works have been sold in several countries in Europe (Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, England & Scandinavia), Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan), Australia and USA.
``Through a friend, who is working to support young, local artists, I found three incredible young men in Battambang, who, without the academic references to the world of art and its history, paint these amazing images, mostly about themselves, their journey, their struggles, some in vivid colors, some in alien forms. The emotional and the human qualities of their work touch the very core of one's heart, and through this one man's effort to support them, they deserve to be known as the freshest, freest pieces of contemporary art, without the pretentiousness of a scholarly reasoning behind why and what art should be. They are freely expressing themselves, using whatever art median at hand to shine the dark corners of their lives, while on the path to self-discovery, connecting their own suffering with those who are humanly enough to feel the power in their process of healing and understanding their orphaned world, full of poverty, neglect, violence, exploitation and abandonment. If this is not art, I don't know what is.`` (CHAT Piersath / Cambodian-american writer)
Solo exhibitions:
- 2021 Odyssey / Pi-Pet-Pi Gallery282 / Phnom Penh
- 2020 Abstract ? Almost ! / Pi-Pet-Pi Gallery282 / Phnom Penh
- 2018 Backgrounds / Romcheik 5 Artspace / Battambang
- 2016 Welcome to my feudal village / Meta House / Phnom Penh
- 2015 The beginning of the journey / Romcheik 5 Artspace / Battambang
- 2014 Frog in the well / Romeet Gallery / Phnom Penh
- 2011 Waiting for sunrise / Romeet Gallery / Phnom Penh
Duo exhibitions:
- 2022 Ten years after / Pi-Pet-Pi Gallery282 / Phnom Penh
- 2019 That Which is Hidden / Java Café & Gallery / Phnom Penh
- 2017 Deep in the wood / Meta House – Goethe Institute / Phnom Penh 2014 Darkness of the countryside / Lotus Gallery / Battambang
- 2012 Children of the countryside / Romeet Gallery / Phnom Penh
Group exhibitions:
- 2020 Made in Cambodia / ArtXchange gallery / Seattle / USA
- 2020 Traum’art / Galerie Lee / Paris
- 2018 Saison du Cambodge / Galerie Impressions / Paris
- 2016 Out of the darkness / Constable Gallery / Siem Reap
- 2014 Made in Battambang / French Institute / Phnom Penh
- 2012 From Cambodia / East Gallery / Toronto / Canada
International press release
“The beginning of the journey” (Artasiapacific magazine / p 106 / issue 94 / Jul-Aug 2015)
“Interview by Ben Valentine” (Artasiapacific / online magazine / Blog / October 2015 )
Part of the World Bank Art Collection / Washington DC / USA
(Acquisition of “Black holes” / 140 x 80 cm / Acrylic & Enamel on canvas / 2018)


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