Sengdao the Artist

Sengdao Bounsavanh is 32 years old.

He has always had a keen interest in art and attended the Art School for 6 years here in Luang Prabang. For 3 of those years he studied the Lao traditional mural style of painting. He was fortunate to be able to assist with the restoration of the old murals on the walls of the Wat Sisaket temple in Vientiane for a few weeks. He has illustrated several story books as well as the one for girls “I am a Teenager”.

For 3 years he worked at Big Brother Mouse and assisted with the production of books for young Lao people as well as helping to illustrate one of the books. In 2005, Sengdao went to work at the Luang Prabang Library as a volunteer before becoming a paid worker there in 2016.

At the library every Thursday he promotes reading with young children. He also helps out with the Book Tuktuk which delivers story books for children in the countryside. Sengdao enjoys going out to villages and loves telling stories to the children, singing with them and playing games.

When visiting village schools Sengdao often helps out with the Girls’ Teen Project and assists with the hygiene activities where children learn about the importance of hand washing and drinking clean water. He enjoys dressing up and loves performing in front of an audience. Children love him.

In his spare time he loves to draw and paint. He enjoys painting colourful Lao traditional paintings, gathering ideas from old books, temples and other art works. He prefers to paint on saa paper.

Sengdao is a talented mural artist and has colourfully painted the walls at the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre (TAEC), the Luang Prabang Library, several village schools and more recently a wall in one of the classrooms at the LEOT school.

Sengdao was asked to come up with a design for a painting in one of our LEOT classrooms. It was a room that always seemed dark and lifeless.

He then went away and came up with 3- 4 designs. The one that was selected, depicted the Lao countryside, the mountains around Luang Prabang, buffalo in the fields and a bamboo hut beside some farmers planting out the rice.
It is a very colourful painting that takes up the whole back wall of the classroom.

Sengdao has a full time job but managed to find time after work some days and also on three weekends to come and complete the large colourful mural.

It has definitely changed the feel of the room and made it more welcoming and bright. The students are now very happy to study in this room.

Here are some comments by students about the mural in their classroom

  • “When students come to this room, it is a surprise for them.”
  • “When I come into the room I feel good. It’s very beautiful.”
  • “it’s very beautiful and fantastic.”
  • “I think Room 2 is amazing.”
  • “when I go to this room I feel happy.”
  • “That room is attractive. I love that room.”
  • “I think if all the classrooms were like that, it would be good to look and to study there.”
  • “When I see it, it reminds me of the diligence of the people.”
  • “I like life in the countryside very much so when I see the room, I am happy.”
  • “When I see natural images, I think the painters need to be skillful, diligent and patient to make it beautiful. The picture shows us that farming is not easy to do. The farmers do it for a long time before harvesting.”

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