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Chinese dumplings and dogs on display at Meta House

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081215_18.jpg

Austrian artist Ronald Kodritsch’s varied body of mostly abstract works features eclectic drawings created during his recent trip to China

Photo by: Camilla Bjerrekær

One of Ronald Kodritsch’s pieces currently on show at Phnom Penh’s Meta House, where the artist will exhibit a variety of works through the end of the month.

DOGS, dumplings and to-do lists screamed from the walls of Meta House as Austrian artist Ronald Kodritsch, 38, opened his exhibition "Dschautze!" on Saturday, featuring 30 drawings he made during a recent trip to China.

"Dschautze means dumplings in Chinese. I called it that because you don't know what it is [if] you don't know Chinese. It is like an abstract title," he said. "These drawings are quite abstract, and some of them are quite figurative."

Kodritsch's art studies have taken him from Vienna to London and from Paris to New York. His latest scholarship brought him to the Chinese city of Nanjing, where he spent three months creating the pieces now on display at Meta House. Although he is based in Vienna, he is no stranger to Cambodia and Southeast Asia, where he usually spends a couple of months each year.

"I've always liked Phnom Penh. So I like to come back to Phnom Penh, and when I do, it feels a bit like a homecoming," he said.

The art on display was created in China, but it is not really a cohesive series. Some works are drawings on paper, while others are more like Rorschach paintings, he explained.

Recording daily life

"The drawings are more like [spontaneous] drawings, and they are not really based on a series," he said, adding that the pieces sometimes took the form of a diary, allowing visitors to the exhibit  to follow Kodritsch's craving for vanilla tart and see his to-do lists.

"I think it is not the work of an artist to give a special feeling to certain people. It is also difficult because it is based on my thinking and my daily life. And there is some reference to other work I did before. If you don't know the work I have done before, you will always see something else, and this is completely creative," he said.

His mention of previous work refers to drawings of dogs he has titled "Bastards", which he has worked on over the last few years and exhibited in Austria and Switzerland. "It's always a mixture between male and female, and between dogs and humans," he said of the drawings.

In China, Kodritsch also experimented with pieces inspired by the Rorschach inkblot tests, wherein paint is splashed on a surface that is then folded and unfolded, leaving an image that is open to the interpretation of the viewer.

"What I call it is, ‘Don't play cards with Satan'," he said about the piece. "This is abstract, but usually I don't do abstract things. So I give the abstract a concrete title."

Kodritsch has previously participated in exhibitions at the Scandinavia Hotel and Sala Art Space in Phnom Penh.

His current Meta House exhibition runs to the end of the month.

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