Young Italian-educated illustrator and artist Phal Ranon’s work will be on display for the first time in Phnom Penh for one night only at the Mito Hotel tonight.
Ranon, 25, was born in Battambang. Despite not coming from an artistic family, he started to show a talent for drawing at about 9 years old, inspired by Cambodia’s culture, landmarks and landscapes.
“In high school, I knew how to draw landscapes and people bought them from me so I could get money to pay for school, which inspired me a lot to continue down this path,” said Ranon.
However, he said that in order to appreciate and express his love for the Kingdom, he needed to sharpen his artistic talent at a top institution.
In 2013, Ranon received a full scholarship from an Italian friend to study in Milan, Italy, at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, where he is currently in his third year.
When Ranon posted one of his drawings of Phnom Penh’s Central Market to Facebook last year, the image went viral and his friends encouraged him to put on an exhibition.
“So I decide to use my holiday from university this year to hold a one-night exhibition to show my different works,” he said.
Tonight’s exhibition will feature 70 works in inks, watercolours, pencil, oils and acrylics that he completed in his spare time.
He said his favourite was of the National Museum because it showed Cambodia’s art heritage and culture to people.
“My purpose in this exhibition is to bring different creative concepts to Cambodia, to encourage and inspire young people and to value Cambodian artworks,” said Ranon.
Phal Ranon’s exhibition will go on display at Mito Hotel (former Mittapheap Hotel), #11 Street 174 (Oknha Ket), tonight from 6pm to 10pm. Entry is free.