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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wanted: new art

Wanted: new art

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,

Street 9.

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