Frieze frame at French Embassy

Frieze frame at French Embassy

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PHOTO PHNOM PENH FESTIVAL

THE long walls outside the French Embassy in Phnom Penh have been brightened this week with a long mural of photographs by a 34-year-old French photographer who works in Switzerland, Mathieu Bernard-Reymond.

The artist completed a residence of around 20 days in Cambodia last August, during which he was accompanied by Cambodian photographer Kim Hak.

“The idea was to do a work that fitted the festival’s philosophy. We wanted it to be understood by everybody,” he said.

A long canvas sheet was printed and divided into vertical sections. This work, which is about 100 metres long and 3 metres high, was designed to be viewed by passing vehicles as well as passers-by.

The frieze begins with a man looking at Phnom Penh from the window of Canadia Tower and takes the spectator through very varied views. “I was interested in the transformations of the city,” explained Bernard-Reymond, who worked in the suburbs and even outside the city to finish his project.

He managed to create an artificial continuity between the 70 images on the frieze, with sometimes just a bit of manipulation to enable the transition. “I like to use the doubt that manipulation can introduce in a picture,” he said.

However, the frieze may come down soon after Photo Phnom Penh ends its festival this weekend, organisers said.

Another huge picture by Bernard-Reymond is also exhibited at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. In this heterogeneous image, composed of two panoramic pictures, one of Phnom Penh, the other of the entry of the jungle in Koh Kong, trees and buildings merge together.

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