Paintings Display Light Touch

“Cambodia has the most wonderful light,” effuses Florence Dias Looten. “In the evening, when the sun reappears after the rain, Phnom Penh is alive with a range of light and color.” 

The prize-winning French artist, inspired by a visit here last year, challenged herself to render Cambodia’s luminescence into oils and watercolors, creating a body of work that revels in the play of light from the most mundane of objects: A tarpaulin um­brella casts a bluish haze over market vendors; shiny bicycles glint in the Phnom Penh twilight.

The collection of 30 paintings can be viewed at “Couleurs d’Asie” in Phnom Penh, discreetly hung among the gallery’s dark wooden furniture and lush textiles.

“My pictures feel more at home here, rather than hung on a stark white wall,” smiles Dias Looten, whose work has been shown in galleries in France, Germany and the US.

Her exhibition, “Regards sur le Cambodge,” opens Saturday at Couleurs d’Asie, No 19 Street 360, and runs until July 12. The gallery is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Monday.

Dias Looten will donate 15 percent of all sales towards painting equipment for Cambodian artists.

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