Khmer metal engraving artist wins recognition after decades

Chea Yuthea is holding a small hammer and chiselling a detailed scene from Ramayana, the Sanskrit epic of ancient India, into a big metal bowl.

Born in 1955, 64-year-old Yuthea has been a metal engraving artist for some 52 years, and still today operates with his son out of his small workshop at his home in Kandal province, where he was born.

From a young age, Yuthea found a strong interest in the art of engraving bronze and silverware.

“I did not have formal training in bronze or being a silversmith at school. When I finished school I was about 12 years old. I decided to study engraving skills with my big uncle and a former bronze artist from the Royal University of Fine Arts,” Yuthea tells The Post.

The only period in which Yuthea stopped was under the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979, but once the war was over he quickly resumed earning his living in bronze and silverware.
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