The launch of a new exhibition at Hotel De La Paix’s Arts Lounge on Tuesday night represents a change of guard in curatorship.
Exiting, amicably, is the Arts Lounge’s long-term curator Don Protasio, and the official word is he wants to explore new pursuits. Protasio represented the new wave in art circles and he will be replaced by Sasha Constable, who in a sense represents the old guard as she has been a stalwart of the Cambodian expat art scene since her arrival in the kingdom in 2000.
On her website she is described as being “born into an artistic family and comes from a long line of ‘Constable’ artists dating back to her famous ancestor John Constable, the quintessential British landscape artist of the 19th century”.
Her first La Paix exhibition, launching on Tuesday, June 8, is, not surprisingly, a spin-off from another of her ventures, a stone carving workshop she set up last year at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh.
This exhibition has been showing at RUFA’s exhibition hall in Phnom Penh and now makes the journey to Siem Reap.
The workshop in Phnom Penh encourages students to translate the ancient Khmer tradition of sandstone carving, so exquisitely evidenced in the temples surrounding Siem Reap, into a modern context.
Most recently rendered stone carvings have been mere replications.
The workshop set out to address this and some of the modern carvings produced in Phnom Penh form the basis of this exhibition.