Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - My Phnom Penh: Em Riem, artist



My Phnom Penh: Em Riem, artist

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

My Phnom Penh: Em Riem, artist

A fashion and interior designer, sculptor and painter, Em Riem is a graduate of the Royal University’s Fine Arts program and the prestigious Arts Decos school in Paris and a prolific creator. He invited Bora Sunjolinet and Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon into his workshop to talk about his favourite places in the city

O’Russey Market

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Unlike a modern shop like a supermarket, you can hang out in O’Russey Market as long as you want. It’s got a wide variety of merchandise, especially fabrics and textiles, and all sorts of strange things. I’ll go to O’Russey Market with an idea in mind and then just by browsing I’ll come upon some materials that will give me a new or different design concept or fashion idea. But this doesn’t just happen in the textile aisles, I get ideas sometimes walking by the cooking section, the locks, or where you find fishing lines. For me, with all the Chinese textiles and fabrics you can find, it’s a bit of a Chinatown within Phnom Penh.

Ambre
Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Ambre is a shop where you can find clothes that are more regular use, but also very original. What I like about this shop is that the designer re-purposes fabric and uses ribbons and small bits of larger textiles that she combines together to make something new. The owner is French-Khmer and the decoration in the shop looks like the French [colonial] era, and the style of clothes also is influenced by French style. She really does something new with her combinations of textiles and fabrics, it’s a rarified style. Young designers should definitely check out Ambre and also Eric Raisina’s shop at Raffles to see what is possible in terms of original Khmer designs.

Russian Market

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Russian Market differentiates itself because I’ll go there for my painting and sculpture needs in particular. I find materials I need for my art, such as glues, inks, paints, papers and screen-printing materials to make T-shirts, for example. There’s also all the tools and metals [in the moto-parts section]. I can find good wood-cutting tools there, too. The metal shops are great for getting ideas for sculptures. As for prices, it is very reasonable. If I buy a lot of stuff, the sellers may lower the price for me. You can’t bargain like that in a supermarket or mall.

Sentosa Silk

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

This shop specialises in silks and it’s little pricier than the markets. There are so many kinds of silks available there: Khmer traditional silk, thin silk, thick silk, and many more. It’s a Cambodian-owned shop and I’ve always gone there. It’s decorated to look historical and high class, and [the interior] is painted all in white. The silks are all made in Cambodia; they come from many different provinces. It’s like a gallery for seeing a variety of silk motifs, and as a designer I want to incorporate those motifs.

Riem’s Atelier/Workshop

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

For inspiration, I don’t always have to go somewhere, I can just sit in my workshop and come up with an idea; all I need to do is concentrate on my thoughts. Here I do my paintings, sculptures and designs. It’s not a very large space, but this is where I spend my mornings. In the afternoons, I go to my gallery [X-Em], and in the evenings, well, I need to go to events and meet people for chit-chat. I always work alone. I used to have someone to work with, but it’s not easy for me to work with someone. Art comes from the heart, it’s personal. I paint for myself. If someone requests a painting to be done [on commission], there’s no doing it over.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The

  • Health ministry issues SOP for travellers

    The Ministry of Health released their official Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on October 20 for all travellers to Cambodia, with the specific instructions varying according to whether the traveller is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. The SOP document is essentially identical to the updated quarantine