Thai Artist Brings a Love Story in Portraiture to Cambodia

Lady Story, a new exhibit at the riverfront lounge Chinese House, is a real love story for Thai artist Attasit Pokpong.

The artist’s first exhibition in Cambodia includes large portraits of his girlfriend and his mother side by side with pictures of imaginary women.

“It started with my girlfriend’s picture, then after that I wanted to present Asian women’s culture,” Mr Pokpong said, adding that the show’s personal meaning endears it to him.

The largest portraits in the exhibit measure almost two meters high by two meters wide and Mr Pok­pong said he chose the large canvases to make a powerful first impression when the viewer sees the pieces.

The portraits feature tight close-ups of women’s faces, and the artist adds vibrant colors in varying amounts to each picture. Mr Pok­pong said he intentionally painted the women’s faces with a bit of the unknown.

“She’s a mystery,” he said.

Mr Pokpong said he will end his year with solo exhibitions in New York and Paris, other cities where he will be showing for the first time. With his schedule filling up with travel days, Mr Pokpong said it will be a bit hard to leave his girlfriend and their new baby.

“Maybe the baby will be the next [painting] subject,” he said.

Although this is the first time Mr Pokpong is showing in Cambodia, his style might look familiar to Chinese House regulars.

Alexis de Suremain, owner of Chinese House, said he first met the artist in Bangkok even before Chinese House opened. After seeing his work, Mr de Suremain said the two started working together to organize a time for Mr Pokpong to show in Cambodia.

“This is the one,” he said, when he saw Mr Pokpong’s work for the first time.

He bought two pieces and said Mr Pokpong is the only artist he bought from when it came to decorating the venue.

“His art is very original, very Asian, very modern, very colorful,” he said.

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