It was going to be a big one for Hotel de la Paix’s Arts Lounge.
The site was set to continue its journey of travelling to the edge of the art continuum with the opening of its new Sasha Constable-curated exhibition, Rebirths, on Sunday evening.
The invites had gone out. Preview photos had been distributed showing an intriguing mix of human hair sculptures, wedding photos and depictions of raging fires consuming entire buildings.
The official press release had also been circulated, describing this as another first in local art showings.
A “tripartite concept exhibition” by Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang, “exploring the many facets of change, renewal, destruction, beginnings and ends” it said.
The press release also promised that the show would be “transformative”, but that was not to be.
At the eleventh hour, 7Days received a phone call from La Paix’s sales and marketing director, Christian de Boer, who was at the airport about to catch a flight to the US, saying the plug had been pulled on the show. The artist was in Japan and the artwork was not ready.
It was a first for Hotel de la Paix. Never before has the venue cancelled an art show. It was unfortunate, too, in that it would have been the second show curated by Sasha Constable since she took over from Don Protasio.
De Boer said the late cancellation meant there would be no new exhibition at the hotel until September 23, when one of La Paix’s most spectacular planned shows is set to be launched.
This show will be called Fragments and it’s hoped that half a million dollars worth of sold paintings will be brought to Siem Reap for display and to publicise the exhibition theme – landmines, one of the hotel’s pet projects.
Meanwhile, a new photography exhibition, Exploring Asia, will launch tonight at the Angkor Hospital for Children Friends Centre at 6pm.
The exhibition features four photographers who each focus on a different Asian country: Karl Grobl’s photographs of Cambodia, Alexia Beckerling’s images of Tibet, Monica Denevan’s depictions of Myanmar and Richard Ehrlich’s shots from Vietnam.