Ashtray Art Indicts KR Heads

You could say Pok Leakreasey has a smoking hatred of the Khmer Rouge.

A survivor who lost his father to the ultra-Maoist revolutionaries, Pok Leakreasey once de­signed a urinal and set of three floor mats bearing the faces of Pol Pot and former high-ranking officials Ieng Sary, Khieu Sam­phan and Nuon Chea.

This year, it’s ashtrays.

“I want to show that their brain has nothing but toxic waste of cigarette ash,” said Pok Leakreasey, a teacher at the Institute of Technology and father of two.

The ashtrays will be molded in the shape of the four Khmer Rouge leader’s faces. He plans to make 100 ashtrays and sell them at Tuol Sleng Museum and the Choeung Ek killing fields in advance of the Day of Hatred on May 20.

He says the ashtrays make it easy for him to strike back at the people he holds responsible for the death of his father. People who buy the ashtrays will feel equally relieved, he said.

“Those who want to loosen their anger can buy them,” he said.

The annual Day of Hatred is not widely celebrated. It commemorates the downfall of the Khmer Rouge.

Work continues on a Pol Pot toilet and urinal, Pok Leakreasey said. In June, clay molders in Phnom Penh tested the first toilet and urinal by heating them in an oven. The tests were considered a failure because one of them cracked. The molders tried again in September and November but were unsuccessful.

“If it works it will cost a lot of money to make it because the oven is small and we can’t produce more, like a factory,” he said.

His next project will use the talents of his brother, who is studying computer technology. Pok Leakreasey said he plans to make software for a video game in which the evil characters are all former Khmer Rouge leaders.

“I am waiting for my elder brother, who is finishing his studies in Vietnam. When he comes we will work together to make the software,” Pok Leakreasey said.

Related Stories

Latest News