Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Painted emotions between man and nature

Painted emotions between man and nature

Chhim Sothy’s new exhibit of absract art opened last night.
Chhim Sothy’s new exhibit of absract art opened last night. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

Painted emotions between man and nature

Between the abstract lines and sometimes vivid, sometimes sombre colours, the shapes of bodies locked in an embrace emerge from the canvas. In others, you see the silhouette of a Cambodian village shrouded in a haze or a storm.

The theme that unites them is “the interaction of man and the natural world”, says contemporary artist Chhim Sothy. His latest exhibition, Nature, which opened last night at Cloud, features 16 abstract and semi-abstract oil paintings on canvas.

“In some, it’s nearly figurative-abstract, you can see characters emerge,” he says.

Post Weekend caught up with the Royal University of Fine Arts graduate earlier this week as he was setting up his display. As he scanned the room, his paintings placed along the walls in a tentative sequence, he explained his vision.

“We have grown with nature as a society, and there’s emotion in that . . . we have destroyed, and we have worked with nature,” he says excitedly.

“In some, we see the dry season, and the cycle of the climate and the cycle of birth and death,” he continues.

One canvas, with bright tones, clearly shows the shapes of lotus flowers. “These are blossoming,” he says. The adjacent canvas has more muted pastel colours, the lotuses there are wilting.

Through his abstract style, Sothy says he’s trying to tap into a deeper emotion, capturing not just tempests of nature but the storm of emotion surrounding human interaction with it.

“With climate change, deforestation, we are destroying the world,” he says, adding that people too often take nature for granted. “We complain that the weather is bad, it’s too hot, it’s cool, but we could coexist with nature and it would be to our benefit.”

Nature by Chhim Sothy launched last night at Cloud, #32 Street 9, and runs through February 1, 2017.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • Farmers told not to plant next rice crop

    THE Ministry of Environment has told Cambodian rice farmers to refrain from planting crops in the midst of a drought heightened by record temperatures due to this year’s El Nino phenomenon. Temperatures are expected to peak in April and May. “Every year, [farmers usually]

  • Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

    Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Monday that Preah Sihanouk province will become a second Singapore, as authorities were warned that its development, fuelled largely by Chinese investment, was coming at a cost to locals. Siphan was speaking at a press conference after a seminar