Two young artists – a painting and a photography artist – share space at the TorTim contemporary art gallery to present their work in an exhibition The Flow that began from March 18 and will run until June 18.
The Flow presents two new works by Chea Dalin called The Boundaries of Life and Jumble Space by Thorng Vuthy.
Using newspaper and oil on canvas, The Boundaries of Life consists of eight colourful contemporary abstract paintings. Each portrays a mouse or cat to reflect the social landscape which has been transformed by a variety of issues.
“All of my work speaks about the reality in our society and what has happened in our country – like corruption, historical problems, the cold war and various issue of environmental destruction,” Dalin tells The Post.
Hailing from Takeo province, the 21-year-old graduated last year from a contemporary art class by Sa Sa Art Projects. Her series of paintings in The Boundaries of Life has been showcased in a graduation exhibition and now at TorTim contemporary art gallery in Tuol Tompoung II.
“Seven out of my eight painting hold hidden meanings about soil and landscape problem and the last one depicts water pollution,” she says.
Besides having an interest in painting, creativity, history and social injustice, Dalin also practises traditional dance which allowed her to join a Chingay performance in Singapore last year.
Yet Dalin’s focus in the arts is her paintings as she is currently in her junior year at the Royal University of Fine Arts.
In her latest series, she wants to connect the Khmer proverb “The gourd sinks, the broken glass floats” to reflect the unfair treatment that sometimes occurs in society.
“My paintings highlight social issues which well-educated people ignore or give less value to. Sometimes, lesser educated people are good at pleasing or flattering others which is wrong too. It is also a matter of selfishness when people only favour those of their ilk while remaining inconsiderate to others.
“The power and desire to make people change their sense of reasoning, forgetting to respect others, harming the poor, abusing natural resources . . . these are the things that drive me. This is a constant flow of grief in our society,” she says.
Sharing the gallery space is artistic photography by Thorng Vuthy called Jumble Space. His 13 photographs are inspired by floating and flying objects. He creates pictures to draw attention to what is being overlooked in everyday lives.
The 30-year-old says: “My pictures which depict fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat from an animal injected with drugs. This holds an important message about food safety and health.
“I urge people to reconsider their food choices and try to avoid those that contain harmful chemicals. Unhealthy food is very dangerous for consumers’ health.”
Born to the family of traditional Khmer art smiths, Vuthy grew up in his hometown in Kandal province and moved from there to Phnom Penh to pursue his university education.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in information technology, he is currently working as a graphic designer and independent photographer. He started his photography school in 2013 and has been a photography scholarship student at Studio Image and Sa Sa Art Project.
He has joined many photo workshops like Canon Photo Clinic, Phnom Penh Photo Festival Intersection, and the Studio Images photo exhibition with French artists. His photography mostly encompasses the contemporary, documentary, conceptual and minimal.
In his Jumble Space series, his work not only raises awareness about food safety but also the inevitable import of food products as local farms and factories are still incapable of sufficient production for the local market.
“I wanted to bring up the issues of vegetables, fruits and meat which are imported to meet our demand. The greater flow of imports has an impact on our living environment, such as the plastic packaging and chemicals in these foods,” he says.
To find out more about the two young artists and their contemporary work, The Flow exhibition is at TorTim contemporary art gallery is initiated by four young Cambodians from different fields, who aim to promote Cambodian artists.
The Gallery also has a cafe that offers a range of drinks and menu of tasty home-style meals and homemade desserts.
It is located at 181, street 426, Tuol Tompoung II, Phnom Penh.