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New arty look for Joe to Go Café

Joe to Go café unveils its new look tomorrow night, with a cocktail party and art exhibition by well-known local artist Oun Savann to celebrate the newly renovated upstairs area which has been transformed from a shop into an art gallery.

The café, which supports street children via education through The Global Child NGO, intends to use the first floor in the future to display artwork by the children, coached by Savann who divides his time between teaching, assistant art curating at Park Hyatt Siem Reap and working with the Giant Puppet Project, as well as his own art projects.

Artwork titled Hungry Giant features in the Line of Life exhibition. OUN SAVANN
Artwork titled Hungry Giant features in the Line of Life exhibition. OUN SAVANN

Opening night takes place between 7pm and 9pm, and includes half-priced cocktails – a new addition to the menu – free appetisers and 30 per cent off the menu prices. There will also be a live performance by one of The Global Child’s board of directors who is in town to visit the school.

“He also plays music and he’s going to join with one of our music teachers from the school side,” says business director Nimol Pong. “He’s going to play guitar and sing. We just wanted to do something as we haven’t really had an official event since we opened the upstairs area.”

Pong says her boss has always been interested in art, and decided to take the café in a new direction.

“She’s always loved art projects, and as Savann is art teacher at the school she decided to have him do the first exhibit. Not many people are doing café plus art in town yet, so maybe it’s a market for us.”

Joe to Go business director Nimol Pong and artist Oun Savann, in the cafe's newly renovated upstairs area. MIRANDA GLASSER
Joe to Go business director Nimol Pong and artist Oun Savann, in the cafe's newly renovated upstairs area. MIRANDA GLASSER

Savann adds, “We have the space, so the kids will have a good opportunity to show their artwork,” adds Savann, “And not only for them – it could also be a good place for other artists to show their work because in Siem Reap we don’t have so many places now – there’s the Hyatt, and 1961 is closed for renovations so it’s quiet now.”

Savann’s exhibition, Line of Life, will show for three months and is largely made up of intricate line drawings on paper, displayed in homemade papier mâché frames. Others are painted with black ink and gold paint on rice paper, and the subjects include faces, animals and Buddhas..

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