French Cultural Center Hosts Groundbreaking Art Exhibition

A groundbreaking exhibition of art by seven young Cambodian artists is underway at the French Cultural Center on Street 184.

The exhibit, which runs daily through Monday from 7 am to 8 pm, showcases traditional and modern works in a variety of disciplines.

Roland Celette, deputy director of the center, said works were chosen for their originality and creativity.

“This is their own [artistic vision],’’ he said. “These are not copies.’’

Celette was referring to the fact that for the sake of commercial success many Cambodian artists churn out replicas of Angkorean carvings or scenes from Angkor Wat, often without actually visiting Siem Reap.

This art, he said, is very different.

The seven artists whose work was chosen recently completed a workshop at the Cultural Center. The exhibit’s theme is “Unlimited freedom.’’

The artists include:

Painter Ou Vandy, who has produced a series of works depicting various parts of faces. He deliberately chose to portray glimpses rather than whole portraits. “If you put the whole face of the giant, people would understand easily, and then they will not be intrigued,’’ he said.

Painter Em Riem, who prefers an abstract style so that the works will mean different things to different people.

Yun Tara Roath, by contrast, contributed a series of black-and-white paintings of sculptures from the National Museum, surrounding a central display of 12 pipes of green bamboo. “My style is to remind viewers of our ancient artists,’’ he said.

Nou Sary created an entire environment, with a carpet of real leaves surmounted by colorful paintings depicting Phnom Penh traffic seen from the Japanese bridge.

Ouk Socheathy worked in two media: decorative pottery and painting. Chea Phallina, who has sold a number of her works, contributed paintings of dancers.

Nam Keang offered a series of modern works, using painted glass and special lighting to illuminate the images.




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