In the last 10 days, students of the Faculty of Fine Arts have turned into carpenters and electricians. They have looked for bargains at markets and, using the imagination they have in ample supply, converted their classrooms into exhibition halls.
For a decade, Khmer New Year has meant exhibition at the faculty, with the student committee of that year trying to outdo the previous one’s efforts.
“This year, it will be better,” said student Chor Vuthy Ran, with a smile.
The exhibition, which will open today at 5 pm, will include painting, sculpture, photography and the works of architecture students.
In painting, all techniques and styles will be represented. They include characters of the Reamker—the Cambodian version of the Indian epic Ramayana—and country scenes in a mosaic effect; peaceful village settings in oil; and a muted, cubist version of Angkor Wat.
Artworks come in watercolor, oil and acrylic, with colors ranging from black and white to the most vivid tones. The sculpture exhibit includes cups and jars, traditional masks and ceramics.
Students used straw mats on the walls and kramas to drape the entrance panel—essentially whatever they could afford to set up their creations in the best possible light, which has not been easy, said student-committee leader Samsa Lorng.
Selecting artwork and having to turn down some students’ creations was difficult, he said. The committee asked their professors’ advice and, in the end, chose artwork from the art high school next door as well as from the faculty, Samsa Lorng said.
For the first time, photography students have set up their own exhibition room, Professor Chan Vitharin said. Themes go from Water-Festival boat racers to an averted clash between soldiers and monks.
The color photos were produced by former students now working for various news organizations in the country. Since students had to work with equipment donated by the French association Arts Cambodge in 1994, they were limited in what they could do, which led students to work with black-and-white photography, said So Chenda, the faculty vice-dean.
The exhibition halls can be reached through the south door of the campus on Street 184, which runs between the National Museum and the Royal Palace, near the corner of Street 19.
The exhibition will be open through April 25 from 8 am to 9 pm.