Amazing Cambodia: "Development and architectural conservation need to walk together"

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:01 p.m.

Sukhalay Hotel on Achar Mean Avenue (now Monivong Boulevard)

Amazing Cambodia gather vintage photos of historic buildings across Cambodia and feats of construction that have marked the Kingdom's architectural evolution.

The mission of Amazing Cambodia is collecting Cambodian historical images, music,films and other things of cultural importance, and sharing them to everyone domestically and internationally. The purpose in guiding people, especially the young generation, to see and to know how amazing their country was in the past as well as to be proud of being a Cambodian citizen. It is also assisting local people to recall momentous memories about past events, raising foreigners' awareness about Cambodian culture and history and promoting Cambodia's reputation and popularity nationally and internationally.

The founder of Amazing Cambodia, Mr. Srin Sokmean, spoke with about his life and his inspiration for Amazing Cambodia.

Tell us about your career so far:

I have been working as a reporter and editor for a local magazine since I was a senior at IFL. Now I am also working as an English language full-time teacher for a private school in Phnom Penh. On the other hand, I have been an organizer of some cultural events including Amazing Cambodia Photo Exhibition 2013 and the Night of Hope charity concert 2015.

What inspired you to start your photo archives?

Inspired by my lifelong great passion of local culture and arts, I have been investing most of my free time in doing constant researches on Cambodian past music, films as well as architecture. The 1960s, known as the golden age of Cambodian culture, is my most favorite topic.

As I had collected a large number of vintage images, I decided to create a Facebook page named Amazing Cambodia with the initial technical assistance of one of my Facebook friends.

The three biggest purposes of the page are to raise Cambodian young generation’s awareness of the country’s glorious past, to review the past memories for the surviving local oldsters, especially those who have been away from the homeland for decades, and last but not least is to promote Khmer culture and history to the world.

What your inspiration do this job?

Everything is because I do love it from the bottom of my heart - though, I have to sacrifice a lot of money and time. Even without much support, I never give up since I have learned a lot during the process of the research. For example, I know how to improve communication skills with people in that field.

My personal inspiring quote is “Don’t give up just because you walk in the right way alone - Appreciate your incomparable talent.”

What is your view on Cambodia architecture these days?

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