Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Art Deli specialises in the spontaneous

The Art Deli specialises in the spontaneous

The Art Deli specialises in the spontaneous

Loven Ramos may just be the most eccentric man in Siem Reap, and that’s no mean claim in this town. His quirky credentials were firmly presented with his Aladdin’s cave that is the Poetry Store, and now he has extended them further with the Art Deli, also on Alley West. The bar has been drawing attention for a while now, but a new live act had the town painting red last Saturday with an impromptu gig that surprised even the band.

Four musicians who had just met asked Loven if they could practice in the bar. That was the beginning of an evening that drew a crowd to hear the quartet play a rousing series of popular jazz tunes.

“Will jazz work?” was the nervous question posed by Aya Urata, on keyboards. The answer was a very distinct yes.

The band comprised Aya, plus Philippe Ceulen on drums, Mayuko Moriyama on bass and Patrick Charb on saxophone. The mixture of their jazz and the arty surroundings created a wonderful Rive Gauche atmosphere. No one in the audience could believe the group hadn’t played together before and they kept going until after the staff had packed up and gone home, working the magic they had just created.

Loven exuberantly recalls a tourist who wandered in to catch the act. He said he couldn’t get over the extent to which Cambodia was nothing like he had expected.

“And this is my home! I’m so happy to be here,” Loven said.

The good news is that the band will be playing again – they are already slated for a gig on July 24, to coincide with the Alley West Green Market, to be held over the weekend of July 24-25.

The Art Deli, in one of the most attractive buildings in central Siem Reap, is the creation of Loven, from the Philippines, and his Canadian friend Jam.

It’s small and imperfectly formed, though that is decisively part of the appeal. The walls have been scrubbed and covered with paintings, printings, pictures, posters, postcards and random paraphernalia.

The shop-cum-venue opened in April and has gradually gained a name for itself as an eclectic, exciting hub with community art dinners, live music and that elevated feeling that comes from being surrounded by creativity.

The Art Deli is also an exhibition centre for artists to establish themselves, even if their work is not yet ready for the Hotel de la Paix or the McDermott Gallery. Although there is also work exhibited there by Kong Vollak, a highly respected local artist.

MOST VIEWED

  • 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

  • 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

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Kingdom’s exports to US mushroom 25.94% in first five months to $2.4B

    Though Cambodia’s exports to other countries have been stalled amid the evolving Covid-19 environment, the Kingdom’s shipments to the US were worth 25.94 per cent more in the first five months of this year than they were in the year-ago period. Bilateral trade between

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the