Siem Reap’s ever-growing art scene has added a new venue.
Spanish Reaper, Tomàs Ordinas, launched Angkor Photo Café-Gallery last month amid free flowing sangria and stunning photography.
The bar, on the River Road next to Chili Si Dang, was once the HQ for the Angkor Photo Festival.
When the festival, which Tomàs has been involved with for some time, wrapped up he felt the space should stay on as a photography gallery.
“I didn’t want to open just a bar. For me it’s more important to have it as a gallery. I’m really nervous, I have no idea if it’s going to work and there’s a lot invested in it. But I’m really excited too.”
Ordinas says that while the gallery is quite specialised, there will be more than just drinks and pictures.
“I’m going to do cinema nights, concerts and workshops, as well photography of course. ”
Along with a rather quaffable wine list, Tomás is swiftly becoming known for his tapas specials, with his Spanish tortilla a particular favourite.
Unlike many Siem Reap’s curators, Tomàs’ career began less artistically with economics, which is why he left Europe.
“After ten years working for the same company I quit my job and said, ‘I want to see the world.’ The first place I went was here, and I fell in love with the country.”
On May 4, Tomás will launch the gallery’s second exhibition, Life, a collection of images by George Nickels, the latest in a line of snappers to call Siem Reap home.
The British photographer has created a portrait collection which depicts striking snapshots of the refuse collectors we see every day all over town.
Ordinas notes that the Siem Reap art scene has grown considerably since his arrival three years ago, and he hopes he can add something.
Along with contributing to the art scene, Tomàs is donating his commission for photography sold to Anjali House, an organisation he came to know through the festival.
The gallery-bar has more of a Phnom Penh vibe than Siem Reap. It features distressed tiles and raw cement work in contrast, while Tomàs’ self-designed furniture adds to the laid-back yet cosmopolitan feel.
Life will launch on May 4 at 7pm and will run for one month.