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Artist on the move – yet again

SHE’S been tipped as one of Cambodia’s leading artists, and her work in Siem Reap has certainly been on the move – from one venue to another.

Touch Khchao, 28, is a Battambang artist; a graduate of the Phare Ponleu Selpak school of Art. A series of her work, entitled Care, has been on display at The Red Gallery at the FCC Angkor complex on Pokambor Avenue for some time.  

But the shockwaves from the recession still reverberate, making running the gallery unsustainable. It closed last month, and much of the work formerly displayed in the space – a showcase for Cambodian painters and artists living here – has been returned to the artists.  

But the Heritage Suites Hotel is the happy, temporary holder of the Care series of paintings.

An exhibition of the same series was held at the Art Café on Street 108 in Phnom Penh last year, and at the time the artist explained the concept behind her work.

“Where is the care? Where is the love in our world? When I see husbands and wives fighting, old people abandoned and left to beg in the streets or children fighting with their parents, I hurt inside.

“Why don’t people care for themselves, each other or the planet that we all share? The purpose of these paintings is to transmute this negative energy into the positive energy of care and love,” she said.

The radiantly colourful, dreamy and surreally blended pots in the paintings are used to represent people and the relationships that count. As receptacles, we are able to both give and receive that care that holds us together and gives us value, Touch Khchao says.

According to the artist, that care and love “radiates this energy through colour and form to the viewer, and to the world at large”.

Touch Khchao has been a full-time artist since 2008, and first stepped into the spotlight of the Kingdom’s art scene with an exhibition of works at Comme à la Maison in Phnom Penh in 2007.

Since then, she has received commissions from Spain, the UK and Australia, and she has exhibited internationally in both France and California.

Her works have also been shown at the Ministry of Culture, and at the French Cultural Centre in the capital.  

Now’s the chance to catch her work in Temple Town before it heads off to Phnom Penh again.

Care is on show at the Heritage Suites Hotel in Siem Reap.

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