Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Artist turns to watercolours to explore life

Artist turns to watercolours to explore life

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Artist turns to watercolours to explore life

Artist Channa Chhum displays a clear change in his method of expression in his new exhibition at Mirage Contemporary Art Space in Siem Reap town.

With “My Life”, Battambang native Chhum has shifted his focus from scenes of rural Cambodia to the very nature it relies on to explore the emotions that result from discouragement and discrimination, using watercolours for its “accessibility”.

‘I chose watercolour painting for its colour and because it is unique, yet accessible."

“It perfectly captures what inspired me to paint – each individual painting in this body of work is related to my personal life story, growing up with maltreatment, discouragement, and discrimination."

“I want people to understand what lies at the root of these emotions and the feelings which sprout from them,” Channa says.

Six new paintings from the artist are being shown at Mirage on Oknha Oum Chhay Street, in what will be the first exhibition at the gallery’s new location and will help mark its second anniversary.

“My current paintings are very different from my previous ones, both in their emotional and physical connection,” Channa says.

“In this body of work, I intend to capture and revel in the leaves and trees that people take for granted along the paths of their lives. By drawing a tree or a plant, I begin to understand the physical patterns of flora and their slow growth, which echoes the slow pace of my life.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Visitors view artist Chhum Channa’s watercolour paintings in Siem Reap. The exhibition runs until December 10. Photo supplied

Serey Siv, the director and co-founder of Mirage says: “Channa Chhum’s work displays a great number of details and a spectrum of colours which bring the art of watercolour painting to a completely new level with the emotions it inspires.

“Yet paintings by Channa are still to be discovered by a wider public. We want to make sure the budding local audience in Siem Reap get to see artists of this stature. It is hard to believe some [local artists] are still making ends meet by selling handmade postcards for tourists at Angkor Wat.”

“It was important for us to celebrate our reopening at our new location with an exhibition by a Cambodian artist like Channa.

“At Mirage, we want to give Cambodian artists like Channa a space to create their next masterpiece and let the world know about it. The rediscovery, presentation and preservation of Khmer art constitutes the core of Mirage Contemporary Art Space,” Siv adds.

To celebrate art and a space for it like Mirage, the curators and the artist invite visitors to collectively shape its space and bend pieces of reality, creating a mirage and contributing to a unique form of artistic creation. “My Life” runs until December 10.

MOST VIEWED

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Vietnamese workers in Koh Kong questioned

    The General Department of Immigration (GDI) is questioning 49 Vietnamese nationals who were working illegally in Koh Kong province to build a case and send them back to Vietnam, its Department of Investigation and Procedure director Kem Sarin said on Thursday. GDI forces and provincial authorities

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to