A trio of artists strut their stuff at Park Hyatt

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

A trio of artists strut their stuff at Park Hyatt

Lacquered portrait paintings, wooden sculptures and a video installation of broken terracotta pots all feature in Three Artists in One Show, Park Hyatt Siem Reap’s first exhibition which opened on September 5.

The exhibition showcases the work of Battambang artist Mao Soviet, local resident Lim Muy Theam and, exhibiting for the first time in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh-based artist Amy Lee Sanford.

Insider got chatting to Lim Muy Theam about one of his larger pieces, Face, from the series Face K, The Dark Side, which he says took him several months to complete.

The huge, striking, close-up image of a man’s face is monochrome on a red background, created by applying layers of lacquer paint onto a photograph, then softened with “meticulous sanding.”

Theam says it was a complicated process to get the texture of the skin exactly right. The artist was fascinated by the differences and shades in Cambodian skin, and shocked to discover his subject, a farmer, was only 45, the same age as him. Theam says he would like to do more portrait work in the future.

Theam was also singing the praises of newcomer to Siem Reap, Cambodian-American Amy Lee Sanford, who was showing her video installation, From Above, Full Circle. The video depicts a performance Sanford did in Phnom Penh last year where she sat in a circle of forty pots and broke each one then meticulously put them back together with glue and string, over a period of six days.

Sanford says the piece is representative of various issues people face, and deals with the process of change.

Sanford, when two years old was sent to live in America by her father, an academic, just before the Khmer Rouge took over. Her father later disappeared along with many of her relatives.

Sanford acknowledges that some people may not ‘get’ her installation right away, but most are intrigued enough to ask.

“Some of the locals don’t understand it right off, but if I take a moment and explain the analogy of Cambodia, then they completely get it,” she says. Raised in Boston by her American stepmother, Sanford now lives in Phnom Penh and has exhibited in Cambodia, UK and US, including at this year’s Season of Cambodia festival in New York.

The third artist, Mao Soviet, is a Phare Ponleu Selpak graduate and is exhibiting After Year 1981, a series of wooden sculptures inspired by his pregnant wife when she was carrying their first child.

The small, tactile carvings are resin-treated and some painted with acrylic such as Mother, an eye-catching red work with a long, peaceful face reminiscent of a Modigliani sculpture.

According to his press material, Soviet places great importance on the family unit, particularly the mother figure. It says, “Family is of paramount importance to Soviet, he himself coming from a large family with ten members.”

The exhibition runs until November 22 at the Park Hyatt.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the