Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Exhibition showcases changing urban landscape

Exhibition showcases changing urban landscape

Exhibition showcases changing urban landscape

090505_17.jpg
090505_17.jpg

Kong Vollak's exhibition "Buildings" addresses how recent developments

will affect Phnom Penh's landscape, environment and culture

PHOTO SUPPLIED

One of Kong Vollak’s drawings.

HOW will the continual development and construction of immense, modern buildings in Phnom Penh affect the landscape, environment and culture of the people living in this country?

This is the question artist Kong Vollak poses to the viewers of his most recent exhibition "Buildings", which will showcase 20 pencil and charcoal drawings as well as four wire installation pieces depicting the urban jungle.

Kong Vollak has been concentrating on the urban architecture of his birthplace, Phnom Penh, ever since he graduated from the Royal University of Fine Arts, and he began exhibiting his work in 2005.

Furthermore, over the last few years, Kong Vollak has taken part in several workshops with foreign artists. He has also studied photography at Popil Gallery and dreams of becoming an art teacher.

"I want to show the changes that are happening in the architecture of Phnom Penh," he said. "Nowadays, there are so many huge, tall, modern buildings being erected, and the old traditional-style buildings are being overtaken."

Mega-structures

Each of Kong Vollak's pieces portrays contemporary urban architecture in Cambodia's capital, and in particular the onslaught of the new mega-structures and the connections that these buildings have to the surrounding environment.

"I'm not so sure all of these new buildings are good for this city," he said. "Too many tall, modern buildings can negatively affect the landscape in terms of traffic jams, pollution and a loss of the old, traditional style of architecture that is part of our culture," he said.

Kong Vollak describes the Phnom Penh of his dreams - a subtle mix of ancient and contemporary architecture.

Although Kong Vollak may be sceptical about the changing urban landscape of Phnom Penh, he leaves the question of whether these changes are a positive for Cambodia up to those who view his work.

"Buildings" will open at the French Cultural Centre at 7pm Wednesday and will run through  June 6. 

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from