Exhibit Features French Sketch Artist’s Scenes of Cambodia

For French artist Virginie Broquet, sketching a market scene or a busy street corner must be much more than a snapshot of a moment.

“What is important is to draw for an hour or two, to seize…what has happened in front of us,” she said. Unlike a photograph that will catch an instant, her drawing is meant to condense in one image a mini-chapter of life, documentary-film style.

A sketch by French artist Virginie Broquet shows the frantic activity in front of Wat Ounalum in Phnom Penh a few days ago. (Institut Francais)
A sketch by French artist Virginie Broquet shows the frantic activity in front of Wat Ounalum in Phnom Penh a few days ago. (Institut Francais)

And this Ms. Broquet expresses in free-flowing lines that reflect the constant motion of human life that she witnessed, rather than freezing an episode in time.

Since last Monday, Ms. Broquet has been teaching her technique to arts students from the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA), taking them on location around town as they were freed from other classes by RUFA so they could attend her workshop.

The sketches they produced during this intensive session will be presented at the Institut Francais. The exhibition, which will open Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., will also include some of Ms. Broquet’s works on Cambodia done this month and sketches from her graphic novel “Suzy Wong and the Spirits” released in April by Gope Editions.

There also will be works from her previously published travel sketchbooks.

An illustrator by profession, Ms. Broquet has worked on an estimated 20 books over as many years and provided art for everything from business to women’s publications.

“I adapt to the demand: As long as I sketch, I’m happy,” she said.

“She has an unusual technique…an eye, a way to record, which is special,” said Kor Borin, who is in charge of cultural activities at the institute and has been dealing with foreign and Cambodian artists for more than 15 years.

The sketches some of them produced during the week and which will be on exhibit are amazing, he said.

“She virtually teaches students to do staging on paper.”

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