On International Women’s Day, three art exhibitions will showcase at the KBach Gallery to celebrate and empower women and create positive discourse over gender equality in the Kingdom.
The three exhibitions are the debut of the young artist Keom Keosocheat; Srey Klang, a collection of submitted art works; and Endless Patience, a photo exhibition by an anti-discrimination NGO.
Phnom Fem Fest, a group of local and expatriate women, will hold the Srey Klang, or Strong Women, exhibition. Any artist can showcase work on the topic.
“Srey Klang is a public group exhibition open for anyone to join, man or woman, the only criteria is that they produce an artwork on the theme of Srey Klang, or Strong Women. The artworks range from paintings, drawings, installations and photography,” says Shauna O’Mahony, founder of Phnom Fem Fest.
The three-day event begins on Sunday and aims to inspire young women by giving them access and exposure to amazing women doing amazing things. It will be centred on visual artists, photographers and dancers.
O’Mahony says: “Koem Keosocheat is our first female artist to do a solo show with KBach Gallery so we thought it would make sense to introduce her on International Women’s Day and host the events together.”
Endless Patience is an exhibition by the Cambodian NGO Committee on the UN Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (NGO-CEDAW).
NGO-CEDAW will showcase new work of Cambodian artists Tha Linda, Khuon Viseth and To Malinda. The young artists will encourage audiences to think about the reasons why a woman decides to tolerate her abusive spouse or partner.
The NGO was founded in 1995. It is a coalition of NGOs and associations and their mission is to monitor and promote the implementation of the UN Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women in Cambodia.
O’Mahony, who is also the director of the gallery, says Mel Nutter, currently based in Phnom Penh, will perform an aerial silks dance at 3pm.
“During the event, there will be different types of art including live drawing with models, live painting all day by local and international artists and a silk dance,” says O’Mahony.
“We believe that a lot of Cambodian women have equal opportunities to men. However, they often lack the confidence to pursue certain dreams especially in new industries not seen before in Cambodia. Phnom Fem Fest aims to help these women achieve their dreams.”
O’Mahony adds: “We believe one thing is missing in Cambodia, and that’s a support network for women to help and rely on each other. Phnom Fem Fest is a platform for women to come together to help and support each other.”
She says that there will be around 20 different artworks from local and international artists and special guests who will visit the event, including the British, Australian and Swedish ambassadors.
“The artworks will be exhibited for one month at KBach Arts, and 50 per cent of sales from the exhibition will go to arts programmes by NGO-CEDAW,” says O’Mahony, who adds that the exhibition will be back at Phnom Fem Fest in September.