The background of painter “VANN NATH”
VANN Nath, or HENG Nath, was born on 5 June 1946 in Tbal village, Svay Por commune, Sangke district, Battambang province. He was the son of a peasant family with four brothers and sisters. Since childhood, he liked painting, and he continued with the special skill as an adult, working as a painter of cinema posters from 1969. In 1971, Nath married and had two children.
Some important events which happened to VANN Nath
– 30 December 1977, he and 30 others were arrested in Battambang and sent to S.21 (Phnom Penh) in January 1978, accused for revolting against the revolutionary line as secret C.I.A agents.
– From January 1978 to January 1979, he was detained in S.21 for 1 year.
– 7 January 1979, the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation and Vietnamese army rescued his and the Cambodian people from the dark DK regime.
– He went back to his hometown and met relatives and his wife, but his two children had died without enough food or medical care.
– 25 August 1979, he and his family moved to Phnom Penh and he worked as a soldier in the PRK’s Brigade 169.
– 1 November 1979, he and three other survivors (Iem Chann, Ruy Neakong and Ing Pech) came to work for Tuol Sleng Museum at the request of Mr. Keo Chenday, Minister of Propaganda and Culture.
– 7 January 1980, the launching ceremony of the Exhibition on “Life in S.21”. Which was Nath’s artistic achievement.
– He later had more children, two daughters and one son.
– 1997, He resigned from the military and worked as a painter.
– 2009 He was a full witness while the other two survivors, Bou Meng and Chhum Mei joined as Civil Parties before the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia in Case 001 against Mr. Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, former chief of S.21
– 2011 He died at the age of 66.
– Mr. VANN Nath left us a lot of archievement.
Source: Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S.21)
Photo of painter VANN Nath, taken a month before he pass-away