Man about town: 6 September 2013

Man about town: 6 September 2013

Last night saw the well-attended launch of Park Hyatt’s promised contribution to local art and culture, with its very first art exhibition, entitled "Three Artists in One Show".

The three artists whose work is included in this new exhibition are Mao Soviet, Lim Muy Theam, and Amy Lee Sanford. Both the felicitously-named Mao Soviet and Lim Muy Theam – of Theam’s House fame and acclaim – are well known in Siem Reap art circles, having both exhibited at the Hotel de la Paix before it transmogrified into the Park Hyatt. Theam has also exhibited in town at Sofitel and McDermott’s Gallery.

Siem Reapers may have already encountered the work of Amy Lee Sanford. She apparently made the transition from ceramics and sculpture to performance work, according to the Phnom Penh Post in January this year, “ by recreating the vase-breaking ritual, spontaneously, in public spaces: on dusty footpaths in Siem Reap and the heaving streets of Phnom Penh.” The “spontaneous” bout of vase breaking was duly recorded on videotape which was later shown in an exhibition in the Penh.

Sanford’s a Cambodian-American artist working in drawing, sculpture, installation, and now performance. She was born in 1972 and in 1974 her mother fled Cambodia with her, vying for the safety of the US. She first returned to Cambodia in 2005, and in 2009 she returned and decided to relocate.

Siem Reap’s eleemosynary set is being called into wallet-opening action again, this time by high-profile Il Forno restaurant and Celliers d’Asie tonight, starting at 7pm.

The two businesses will host an evening of traditional food and wines in support of the Angkor Hospital for Children for the purchase of a new autoclave to sterilise instruments.

Il Forno will sponsor all the dinner, and Celliers d’Asie will sponsor all wines.

The aim of the evening is to raise at least $5,000. There are 70 seats available for the dinner, the cost of which is $35 – this will bring in $2,450, and more funding will be elicited from the results of an auction that will be held immediately after the dinner, at 9pm. There is a fabulous list of items up for auction – far too many to list here, but once again Siem Reap businesses and people have outdone themselves in the generosity stakes.

Maddalena Morandi, co-owner Il Forno said, “When we did the dinner two years ago we raised about $4,000 between dinner and auction. It would be great to have more people bidding this year so that we can get to the full $5,000.”

Maddalena points out that the auction will be opened to the public so that everybody, not just dinner guests, can join in the cause.

Meanwhile, Siem Reap’s much-lauded ‘Big Mum,’ Geraldine Cox AM of Sunrise Children’s Villages will hold a Big Cook In fundraiser at Our Big Kitchen in Sydney Australia’s iconic suburb, Bondi.

This is a being billed as a “unique, special fundraising” occasion and according to the publicity spiel, it will be “a hands-on experience” where participants will be “preparing and packing food to feed Sydney’s homeless and vulnerable communities as well as eating the ‘fruits of your labour’.”

Present will be Geraldine and some of her “inspirational children” who happen to be visiting from Cambodia.

The September issue of Condé Nast Traveler magazine names Siem Reap’s Soria Moria boutique hotel as one of 14 recipients of its 2013 World Savers Award.

There were 174 applicants for the awards which are given to travel organisations “with exceptional achievement in social and environmental responsibility.”

Soria Moria received the World Savers Award for ‘Doing it All: City Hotels.’ Condé Nast Traveler describes the reasoning as “because it changes lives in its community.”


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