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Rooftop gallery changing Phnom Penh’s view of art

Rooftop gallery changing Phnom Penh’s view of art

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The exhibition space at Raffles Le Royal’s Rooftop Oriental, showing work by photographer Jeremy Horner. Photograph supplied

The late Andy Warhol, the American pop artist, also known as the Prince of Pop, became famous for his series of paintings of Campbell’s soup cans in the 1960s, and a new style of pop art he helped usher in.

Art enthusiasts valued the relationship between everyday life and popular and mass culture, and reproduction through prints became part of the economic and creative activities for European and American artists.

Earlier this week I was at Raffles Le Royal, Phnom Penh, reuniting with royal family members here for the cremation of King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

In addition to the presence of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in the lobby, I noticed an exclusive art gallery upstairs – Rooftop Oriental.

Rooftop Oriental, the brainchild of French businessman Olivier Cerejo Meneses, focuses on the beauty of Cambodia, with photographs from renowned photographers. Internationally renowned documentary photographer Jeremy Horner is the current featured artist for Rooftop Oriental.

Horner, who is based in Bangkok, has worked in over 90 countries, with over 20 assignments for UNICEF.

Horner’s exhibition of fine art prints, Nirvana – the Spread of Buddhism across Asia, is an epic journey of spiritual enlightenment, capturing monks and temples in Sri Lanka, Japan, the Himalayas of Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and the Tibetan plateau, and Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia in Southeast Asia.

“Rooftop Oriental is catered to high-end clientele who appreciate the fine art, the talent, the perfection, and excellence of fine art photography,” said Meneses, also a music producer and film-maker.

In 2006, Olivier visited Cambodia for a work project and immediately fell in love with the country and decided to move here two years ago. In 2011, he and his business partner, Mara Tep, opened up Rooftop Real Estate, which provides top quality services in the real estate market in Cambodia. He and Mara oversee a staff of 19, comprising expats, foreign residents and locals.

Meneses graduated from the Business School ESC in France and has been a mentor, teaching his staff accounting, sales, marketing, organisation and management. By learning these skills, his workers, particularly his Cambodian employees, become more valuable to the work force, Meneses said.

Speaking from his own experience, Meneses wants to attract foreigners to invest and move to Cambodia. “Cambodia is a country with such promising growth and opportunities,” Meneses said.

“You can make a difference here by helping in the rebuilding process.”

The appreciation of fine art has evolved among the art community in Cambodia, and Olivier Cerejo Meneses has helped to shed light on this niche market. I hope many will follow and inspire others to promote the positive aspects of Cambodia.

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” – Andy Warhol

For more information, contact Olivier Cerejo Meneses on (0)92 991 051 or at [email protected]


The Social Agenda with Soma Norodom
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.


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