Our last issue was about business, a career path that most people choose in hopes of becoming rich. So this week we decided to choose a subject that has little to do with money – arts and entertainment. We do not mean that there are no viable careers in the arts, or even that there is not money to be made. We just think that the importance of art is not in the money you might make in return, but is in the self-reflection and expression that making art requires from the creator. As the American art critic Edward Alden Jewell once said, “to paint a fine picture is far more important than to sell it”, which may not be true for a poor artist but helps explain the importance of the artistic process.
We talked to young Cambodian’s who are making music, dancing and taking photographs as well as talking to the people who like consuming the arts and having a good time. What we found is that people’s tastes in arts differ greatly, but everyone agrees that performing and watching performances makes them happy. For the artists, being creative provides an opportunity to explore their own interests and the way that they see the world, while the people watching have the opportunity to learn about new ideas and see life from another person’s perspective.
Besides introducing you to some of the most talented young artists in Cambodia, we also hope you will take our advice and visit some of the best galleries in Phnom Penh and Web sites online for viewing the artwork of your peers. Perhaps what you see will inspire you to pick up a microphone, paint brush or camera yourself and let your artistic talents take off. LIFT