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Nomadic artist drawn back to Cambodia

Globe-trotting international artist Marine Ky will be on hand at Java Cafe and Gallery this Saturday and Sunday for a viewing of a selection of her print works.

The Cambodian-born printmaker and installation artist experiments with naturally made dyes, saying ecology is central to her work.

“I would like to find out more about traditional dyes and making colours from natural products,” she said.

Marine Ky is also looking to incorporate medicinal plants into her new art practice.

Currently based in Paris, she hopes to find an excuse to stay in Cambodia.

There's a new generation oF local artists – but they need exposure.

She migrated to Paris with her family in 1976, before moving to Australia in 1992. She returned to Phnom Penh for the first time in 2000.
After living intermittently in Phnom Penh for four years, she began a string of appointments as an artist-in-residence, first in Chiang Mai in 2004, then in Melbourne, where she taught at Monash University. She was also an artist-in-residence in Japan in Fukuoka and Aomori.

Marine Ky also volunteered at meditation centres and ran programmes for Myanmar refugee children on the Thai-Myanmar border to encourage their creativity and concentration.

“From 2004 until recently, I was living a very nomadic existence,” she said.

On her latest visit to Cambodia, Marine Ky says she has enjoyed seeing emerging young artists mature.

“I think it’s a very exciting time ahead for young artists,” she said. “Four Cambodian artists are currently exhibiting internationally…there’s a new generation of very interesting local artists – but they need exposure.

“If they could see more contemporary artwork, their art practice would be enriched.”

Marine Ky says Cambodia has been very much in her thoughts.

“It’s really great to be part of Cambodia and be building something.
“I’m hoping to find opportunities to show work and to be able to spend more time here by producing new work.”

Marine Ky describes her work at the Java Cafe and Gallery as “very approachable”.

“It’s contemporary, but it’s for a wide audience, using ink I made from different parts of nature,” she said.

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