Cambodia's first contemporary art gallery will opened its doors on Jan. 17 and aims
to show and develop local artists.
Curator Ed Fitzgerald said it would take time to build the confidence of Khmer artists
to take a chance at creative expression. The Canadian, along with his Khmer partner
Kim Seng Rity, will provide a venue for Khmer artists deviating from the traditional.
"We want to discover Khmer artists who are doing original and new work and give
them a gallery to show their art," says Fitzgerald, adding "Phnom Penh
and the whole of the countryside is an inspiration for an ink drawing, a water color,
a painting or a photograph."
He is convinced that the growing audience of foreign travellers and tourists will
be interested in more than the traditional paintings of Angkor wat.
Rity is cautiously optimistic at the prospect of generating enthusiasm and originality
among Khmer artists. "This business will fail unless we convince the Khmers
who are painting and drawing to come and see us, to let us see their art, to encourage
them and support them," he said.
Fitzgerald is confident in the future development of Khmer art. "The Royal palace
has a collection of some of the most interesting Khmer art in Cambodia. Hopefully
we will find new artists with good ideas and develop our own unique collection of
Khmer art," he said.
The gallery also offers a custom framing service, providing high quality materials
hand picked by Fitzgerald. It is located adjacent to the market Psah Kap Ko, #20,