In the land of the elephants

Drawings by Srey Bandol

Opening reception, April 3, 2003




Reyum is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition and the publication of a children’s book entitled “In the Land of the Elephants”. The exhibition and book feature thirty large pencil drawings by Srey Bandol which tell the story of an elephant hunt in Rattanakiri Province, Cambodia. These drawings, completed over a period of six months, are remarkable for their attention to texture and their spectacular renderings of light and dark. Set together in a series, they tell a story from the land of the elephants.

Long ago, a group of hunters set off into the jungle to catch young elephants and tame them for riding and dragging logs, taking with them a young boy who is out on his first elephant hunt. When the hunters have ridden their tame elephants deep into the jungle, a storm comes up scattering the hunters throughout the jungle. When the sky clears, the boy is lost and cannot find the other hunters. He wanders deeper and deeper into the jungle, spending the night alone with his elephant. After traversing the jungle for an indeterminate time, the boy comes to a magical cave where he stays with a monk who will eventually show him the way home. By the time the boy comes home however, his village is unrecognisable, and the boy and his elephant decide to return to the jungle which, through their wanderings, has become familiar.

Offering a deeply poetic account of home, development, and change, this book is part of an ongoing series of children’s books produced as a collaborative project between the Kasumisou Foundation and Reyum Publishing. The project aims to promote literacy and a love of reading by supporting the creation and broadest possible distribution of original Khmer language children’s books. Profits from the sales of each children’s book in the series are used to finance new books as well as to fund the donation of a significant portion of each print run to reputable programs serving the most disadvantaged of Cambodia’s children.