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Graffiti artists spray at restaurant display

A FREE exhibition of paintings opens on Friday night with a live performance by French graffiti artists Massa and Hora at Le Jardin Restaurant on Street 360 in Phnom Penh.

The young duo will spray paint their designs onto a 5-metre long canvas at the restaurant from 9pm on December 17.

Massa, aged 23, said that he had never attended art classes, but was influenced by graffiti on train stations and old buildings in France.

“Graffiti artists mostly focus on letters and play with different styles and abstract elements,” he said. “I hope that when Khmer people see us work, they will think about what we do and maybe play with the Khmer alphabet to develop their own style of graffiti.”

Massa and Hora’s live performance will complement the five paintings on show by French artist Vallier Theo, 30.

This series focused on old buildings in Phnom Penh, Vallier said. Having lived in Cambodia for the past three years, the Marseille-trained artist has developed a love for classic architecture in the city, often taking photos while roaming the streets.

“The buildings have nice styles and are interesting. I’ve been taking pictures of what they look like before they are destroyed. Maybe in a few years they will be gone, so my paintings will remind people of how the buildings were designed.”

Recently he has been experimenting with different techniques, using metals and rust to embellish his canvases. “I’ve been developing the idea of painting on metal, and I’m using rust to colour my paints. I use only white paint on metal. At first, the whole painting is white. All the colours and contrasts are created by rust.”  

The exhibition opens at 7:30pm and runs through to January 29.

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