Battambang Art Collective Puts Focus on Nation’s Road Safety

Exhibition to start at Meta House tonight

A group of artists from Battam­bang province will tonight launch an exhibition in Phnom Penh that they hope will raise awareness of road safety in Cambodia.

The exhibition, titled “Cho,” or “Move­ment,” opens tonight at Meta House and features the work of four artists from the Trotchaek Pneik art collective.

Featuring new works by Hiek Villa, Chhon Ravy, Reoum Sok­hom and Vin Sinat, the pieces re­flect the artists’ desire to draw at­tention to the high numbers of traf­fic accidents in Cambodia.

All of the artists studied at Bat­tambang’s Phare Ponleu Selapak performing arts school.

The show will feature a sculpture by guest artist Poy Chhunly, a well-known animator and filmmaker, and “live painting” performance art by Hiek Vila.

Yean Reaksmey, coordinator and co-founder of Trotchaek Pneik, said that the theme was chosen af­ter three of the artists were involved in road accidents in Battambang. They then began creating the pieces using imagery of roads, cars, bikes and other transport.

“The number of traffic accidents in Cambodia is so high, and we want to use these paintings to make people think and be more care­ful on the street,” said Mr Reaksmey.

Figures released by the Ministry of Transport in July showed that 941 people were killed in road accidents in the first six months of 2011—a one percent increase on the same period for 2010. The figures showed that more than 4,000 people were in­jured, more than 2,000 of whom re­quired hospitalization and major surgery.

Mr Reaksmey said he was proud of the work of the collective, as conveying their message through art was a great way of connecting with young Cambodians.

“It is important to talk to the youth about these issues,” he said.

The exhibition consists of 20 mixed-media pieces, varying from simple representations of bikes to abstract collages. Some mix road signs and symbols with photographed or drawn portraits.

The exhibition launches to­night at 6 pm and runs at Meta House until Sept 18.

 

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