Magazine

Photo by Kak Sok Phirom at Phirom Photography 

Srey Bandaul – The teacher who traded pain in exchange for magic

Srey Bandaul – The teacher who traded pain in exchange for magic

Srey Bandaul -  Beloved teacher and visionary for Cambodia (1973- - 2021)The sudden death of Phare Ponleu Selpak's co-founder has reverberated across the nation, leaving a trail of tributes from authorities and personal posts from those who learned so much from him. Teacher and artist Srey Bandaul died from COVID 19 on August 4, 2021, It may be difficult for an outsider to grasp the depth of this loss for Cambodia, especially since Teacher Srey Bandaul was not a man who needed public attention...

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The Pigeon’s Song – Yeng Chheanly’s Visual Poetry asks the difficult questions

The Pigeon’s Song – Yeng Chheanly’s Visual Poetry asks the difficult questions

Blue Pigeons - Mixed Media by Jinx Davis. All rights reserved by JustJinx.comYeng Chheanly's visual poetry seems serene and calming when viewed. Yet beneath each piece, he is reckoning with the difficult questions that societies must ask if they are to survive. In Pigeon's Song, the ultimate question of survival is posed. Here is how the poet describes it: ពេលព្រលឹម ពេលថ្ងៃរះ គឺពេលដែលព្រាបចាប់ផ្តើមឃ្លាន។ ប្រសិនបើមានអាហារ នោះជីវិតព្រាមនឹងមានសន្តិភាព។ តែ...តើមានបទអ្វីដែលវានឹងច្រៀង...

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Cambodia Is On Her Way to Another Golden Age of Arts and Music

Cambodia Is On Her Way to Another Golden Age of Arts and Music

Sinn Sisamouth painting by Sasha Constable at The Little Red Fox Espresso in Siem Reap, Cambodia  During the three years, eight months and twenty days of the Khmer Rouge occupation, leading up to the Vietnamese invasion of 1979, Phnom Penh was a silent capital, abandoned to its scars of violence and bomb squads. The once-bustling sounds of celebration, music, and dance were suddenly taken away in minutes by the marching red army of genocide. The Khmer Rouge came pronouncing against...

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Peter Chin and Tribal Crackling Wind Dance company in Siem Reap

Peter Chin and Tribal Crackling Wind Dance company in Siem Reap

Cambodian Dancers with Peter Chin’s Dance Company, The Crackling Wind.  Photo courtesy of The Crackling Wind.The Dance of Mortals   If Apsara is of the realm of the divine and the immortals, then Peter Chin embodies this earth and the suffering body of the ordinary mortal, whose concern is to fight and defend the complexities of life and what it entails in the natural and physical realm of contemporary existence. There’s solitude. There’s a process of worship. The ritualistic form calling...

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Sharp Eyes – By Sithis Yim Samnang

Sharp Eyes – By Sithis Yim Samnang

Editor's note:  We hope you read this short piece out loud to discover its eloquence in rhythm and sound. Written while thinking of the images in the"First They Killed My Father" movie, it speaks to contemporary times throughout troubled neighborhoods and nations. Sithis Yim Samnang is a young writer to keep on your horizon. Sharp Eyes By Sithis Yim Samnang   I used to have a heart made of rice fields and cattle farms, a stomach enough for a grateful meal, and an eye rich in sunsets. Our...

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The Orange Silk Dress by Sithis Yim Samnang

The Orange Silk Dress by Sithis Yim Samnang

The Orange Silk Dress by Sithis Yim Samnang   Between our dreams fear in realities meet the unfortunate bravery captured an uncalled treachery.   My mother sewed a dress made of orange silk wounded her hand and her mouth with needle made weapon, to quilt the flesh of her own and her son   She gave him his dress to impress his father to confess his future to commit to his wonder   She gave him his dress to leave unwanted identity his father momentarily startled uncontrolled...

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A Nail the Evening Hangs On – review of Monika sok’s debut book by Chath Piersath

A Nail the Evening Hangs On – review of Monika sok’s debut book by Chath Piersath

From the publisher Copper Canyon Press:  In this staggering poetry debut, Monica Sok illuminates the experiences of Cambodian diaspora and reflects on America’s role in escalating the genocide in Cambodia. A Nail the Evening Hangs On travels from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, where Tuol Sleng and other war museums reshape the imagination of a child of refugees; to New York City and Lancaster, where the dailiness of intergenerational trauma persists on the subway or among the cornfields of a small...

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Rap Music: Ancient and Contemporary Poetry Flourishing in Cambodia

Rap Music: Ancient and Contemporary Poetry Flourishing in Cambodia

Painting by Chath pierSath Rap may have been born from the streets and the culture of African-Americans, but in Cambodia, it has ancient roots. Poetry was often recited or sung. The passing on of stories and various forms of narratives started with the speaking tongue, in rhymes, and improvisation.   The Ayai and Chepey were often improvisations that can be a satire of something, or on the subject of the occasion, marriage or sex. The singer introduces himself or herself, thanking...

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Chin Meas – Monk, Noodle Man & Revered Poet

Chin Meas – Monk, Noodle Man & Revered Poet

Thanks to my fellow poet YENG Chheangly, I have learned to admire CHIN Meas. I invited him to our Khmer Literature Festival in 2017 and he has returned for the following years. Both his life and his personhood deserve our attention. Many of his poems have a Buddhist resonance and serve as cautionary tales about our tragic flaws.  He embraces the impermanence of life and hauntingly leaves his readers pondering multiple layers of meaning. Chin Meas lives in Siem Reap with his wife and two young...

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Cambodian Field notes from Haley & Sothy

Cambodian Field notes from Haley & Sothy

Editor's Note: Haley and Sothy personify the spirit of Cambodia. In their presence, you catch a sense of joy, astonishment, and curiosity. Each in their own way is a storyteller and story is the juice that energizes all our comings and goings.  Sothy carries an innate connection to nature’s total consciousness and intuitively lives in the wrinkles of time past, present, and future.  Haley is a master at creating community, digging deeply into the culture, and understanding that no lives or...

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in pictures – Cambodia through your eyes

in pictures – Cambodia through your eyes

Photograph by Bunnawath ChhunIn Pictures Magical Cambodia is collecting original photographs taken by Khmers, ex-pats, and visitors from around the world. We know you have your favorite photographs of Cambodia's life and landscapes that speak to you. Please share them with us through the link below and we will continue to create galleries that express the magic of the Land of Wonder. You get full photo credit and we will share it with the world. Our first gallery is collected from Urban Street...

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Reflections on Chef Nav by Sokunthea Oum

Reflections on Chef Nav by Sokunthea Oum

Chef Nak, whose real name is Rotanak Ros, has become an essential ambassador of culture from Cambodia.  Nak is a self-taught chef and entrepreneur who energetically is resurrecting Khmer food and introducing its glory to the rest of the world. “Nhum: Recipes From a Cambodian Kitchen,” is a collaboration with Phnom Penh-based photographer Nataly Lee.  Nak explores recipes from her childhood and her travels throughout Cambodia. Her documentation of the ingredients and their health benefits bring...

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KHMER LANGUAGE LEARNING DIARIES – IN SEARCH OF Khmer #2 – Duck!

KHMER LANGUAGE LEARNING DIARIES – IN SEARCH OF Khmer #2 – Duck!

KHMER LANGUAGE LEARNING DIARIES – Chapter 2 Sunday morning. It was one of those days where you wake up at about 3 am and just think, bugger it, I’ll put the coffee on. I'll sit down and listen to 24 vowel sounds that sound pretty much the same, and keep cycling them until my ear can pick out the difference. I do a good job of getting into it. My roommate soon rises with typical cheer. 'Morning, Dickhead!' (We live in a Southeast-Asian millennial young one's world. If the English aren't...

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I see you & Khmer Dogs – Poems by Yeng Chheangly

I see you & Khmer Dogs – Poems by Yeng Chheangly

I see you   You’re a soldier                                     ​ A wanderer and a beggar You beg at bus stations and in the market                          By clasping your palms together. Young people like me ask                                  ​ Whether you’re real or fake. Are you real or fake?   I keenly observe                                                ​ Your gestures, both soft and frail, Harsh and callous —   Your actual manners I...

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Experiments in video Poetry – Yeng Chheangly

Experiments in video Poetry – Yeng Chheangly

Mekong River speak out her grief to villagers. Created from the inspiration of documenting the images of Tommyo Costa Ito.    នេះគឺជាវីដេអូនកំណាព្យទីបីហើយ ដែលខ្ញុំ បានរៀនផលិត។ លើកនេះ ខ្ញុំបានដកស្រងយកច្បាប់ប្រុសដោយបណ្ឌិត ម៉ឺង ម៉ៃ មកបង្ហាញ ដោយបង្កើតរូបភាពថ្មីបន្ថែមទាក់ទងនឹងមុខ របស់កុមារី យ៉េង ចន្ទគឺមអ៊ី និង ថន ណាត់ថាក់លី។ I've been learning this process of making video merging them with Khmer poetry. This time I took some part of the old master poet work, Chok Moen Mai. The piece I...

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An old book & The Sound of Tro – Poems by Yeng Chheangly

An old book & The Sound of Tro – Poems by Yeng Chheangly

An Old Book   Books on the shelf are in categories, Well kept and arranged in order, While one lies elsewhere, Is covered in thick dust.   Kept but never cared for, Tossed into a corner, An outcast from the new shelved books, Fearful it may destroy the shelf’s proper upkeep.   The book in the corner feels left out. No one even notices it. Dust chokes it, making it full of self-doubts. Only the new books are handsomely good.   Tomorrow he must do some research. He searches through all the...

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Musings Towards a new language for the arts – meet Reaksmey Yean

Musings Towards a new language for the arts – meet Reaksmey Yean

Photo of Reaksmey Yean courtesy of រូបថត | ©Norm Phanith, 2017 Why we need a language for art I am a Cambodian-American. Though I speak Khmer, I cannot read and write. I don’t have access to the intellectual history nor the linguistic development of the Khmer language.  I am literate in English since it’s the first language that I learned to read and write in because I came to the US at the age of ten. I was educated in American schools, starting in fifth grade. During the Khmer Rouge, I was...

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Khmer Language learning diaries – introduction

Khmer Language learning diaries – introduction

KHMER LANGUAGE LEARNING DIARIES – INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 FIRST STEPS Patience and attention! Slow down, and listen. What kinds of sounds are people making? Turn on their television. Watch their mouths. How are they making their sounds? What are they doing with their tongues and teeth? Where does the sound seem to be coming from? Throaty? Glottal? Nasal? None of these? Some study language for a lifetime without considering these questions. Of course, I’ll wager a bet that their pronunciation...

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This Body Mystery – By Chath pierSath

This Body Mystery – By Chath pierSath

This Body Mystery - Painting and poem by Chath pierSath Briefcase Owner Combination lock regrets and memories Buried over the years.   Stored in pockets pictures of his wife and children – A resume of a border camp a diary to forget.   He jotted down the date of his interview with a US immigration officer. Things he had to memorize to buy his way out of miseries. He lied. Blame it on fate His HIV exploding into AIDS. His wife and four children immigrated.   He was alone, a...

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Sharing my Intact Soul

Sharing my Intact Soul

As a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide and having benefited from growing up in the US, I feel it’s my life mission to share my experience and learning with everyone around me and those back in my home country. -  Sokunthea Oum Seeking Answers Why you outlived her Is it to blame? Is it to complain?  Only questions remains  Certainly to mourn I miss her   What happened that one wintry night left me wondering Nagging my torn soul Pointing to the senseless matter A reminder of how she was...

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RETURN TO K.I.D BY VANNA SEANG – a personal Cambodian odyssey

RETURN TO K.I.D BY VANNA SEANG – a personal Cambodian odyssey

35-year-old Vanna Seang never got to see the film he directed. The 'Return to K.I.D' documentary is Vanna's personal legacy project. It was the last project he focused on before dying on September 5, 2018, after being diagnosed with a rare blood condition. Those that watch it recognize it is the film they were hungry to see.                               Thanks to his family and ardent supporters of his work, the film was finished.  Original plans to screen the premiere in cinema were...

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Why Should a Social Worker Become a Writer?

Why Should a Social Worker Become a Writer?

Some people are genuinely curious while some others mockingly ask ‘You studied social work. Why did you become a writer? ‘Well, maybe I want to contribute to a social issue I’ve observed?’, I toss back. Yet the questions haunted me. Why do I write? The more I pondered, the more I discovered memories that I now find admirable and endearing. I grew up in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia during the 1980s. The publishing industry had been destroyed and the cost of printing was prohibitive. Many emerging...

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Kho Tararith: Breathing Life into Cambodian Literature

Kho Tararith: Breathing Life into Cambodian Literature

By Chath pierSath   As a Khmer writer and poet living in the U.S., I straddle two worlds. I write while torn by confusion about where home is, the risk of stagnation, and the danger of being a body in stasis, writing with a mind in constant grief and a heart often too heavy to carry around. There are other writers in the diaspora like me. They offer me encouragement, strength, and understanding. Kho Tararith is one such writer and his work deserves our attention. He started the...

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Van Chhovorn – The Enduring Man Etching his Life into Art

Van Chhovorn – The Enduring Man Etching his Life into Art

There are times one is drawn to an artist for reasons that seem difficult to articulate but rumble inside you like an ancient memory resurfacing. Such it is with my relationship with Van Chhovorn and his sculptures and paintings. Holding a wood carving of his in my hands emits feelings far beyond their sight, touch or smell. The wood quietly whispers to me of a life, a family, and a culture that I may witness but never quite know. To many, this will sound hackneyed but to me, it is the gift that art sometimes offers.

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Ka-Lai Chan & MANAVA – The Designer in the Midst of Cambodia

Ka-Lai Chan & MANAVA – The Designer in the Midst of Cambodia

Ka-Lai Chan had been on my horizon long before I moved to Cambodia. I was familiar with her home and furniture design so when I learned she had started MANAVA, a company supporting women artisans by creating artful rattan products, I set out to find her in Krobey Riel village, outside of Siem Reap.  Arriving unannounced on a steaming hot afternoon, and accompanied by two young Khmer girls interested in the arts, a surprised Ka-Lai stopped her work and graciously showed us around.  We met her...

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The Playful Recycled Fashion Art of Hin Koemyean

The Playful Recycled Fashion Art of Hin Koemyean

The Imaginative Art Fashion of Koemyean and his troupe Tepsyort Koemyean, a teacher of graphic design in Phare's  Visual and Applied Arts School (VAAS) in Battambang, modestly declares his fashion ventures made from recycled plastic and rice bags are not professional but made from his heart to support the development of art. He may be wrong - his art is a daring fashion and it certainly appears professional. He calls his work Tepsyort Art Fashion. Koemyean is a young man of 27 and his students...

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Women Hitting the Road – NomadiX Tour

Women Hitting the Road – NomadiX Tour

Marina Bopha's Ambitious New Project It's a determined project born out of the desire to bring art awareness to local people and students in the remote areas of Cambodia.  NomadiX Tour 2020 is designed to closely engage local communities in the world of art through interactive workshops given by women artists and to inspire and guide young students yearning to be artists.Marina Bopha is no stranger to the arts in Cambodia. She has spent years advocating for the arts in countless roles: gallery...

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Words Sprouting Lives – Poetry from Writing Through

Words Sprouting Lives – Poetry from Writing Through

Poetry builds fresh connections between the old and the new, and between the familiar and the unconventional. It is a sublime voice of the personality of the human being who makes the poem, and of those who read it with appreciation. Like all art, it is a form of experience. Seldom are these experiences generated in schools or homes across the world’s landscapes. In Cambodia, these experiences rarely exist.

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Medha – The Women Who Broke the Taboo

Medha – The Women Who Broke the Taboo

Meet the bold women drummers in Cambodia. It was taboo for a woman to touch a drum in Cambodia. Medha turned history into herstory.

Music is a life force behind the human experience. It emerges out of culture and in turn, it can shape and influence culture. Its power can be used towards emancipation – or as a destructive tool for domination. Power is omnipresent.

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The Whimsical Trash Art of Monisilong Riem, aka Selong Vat

The Whimsical Trash Art of Monisilong Riem, aka Selong Vat

Cambodian Trash Art:  See Selong Originals  Artist Riem Mony Selong (AKA Monisilong Riem, Selong Vat) works with waste and garbage. He is a trash art artist of Cambodia. He plays with waste, lives with waste, and struggles to etch out his living with waste – but don’t think for one minute he is wasting his time. It is wiser to wish there were more artists exploring waste in the world – and wiser still to try and understand what his presence means to Cambodia and the world at large. I met...

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Touch Khchao – The Buddha Mind in Battambang

Touch Khchao – The Buddha Mind in Battambang

Cambodian art: The Buddha Mind in Battambang She sits nimbly on the floor, robed in blue, her color of choice for the last several years.  Khchao Touch is an artist in Battambang and she and her husband, Darren Swallow, have been deeply entwined in the Cambodian art scene for years.  Touch (pronounced ‘Toi’) paints to find her freedom to be alive…and she paints with Buddha by her side.  It is easy to fall into viewing her through the romantic lens of Western notions of Zen.  Touch's serene...

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Arn Chorn Pond – The Musical Magician Healing Cambodia

Arn Chorn Pond – The Musical Magician Healing Cambodia

Cambodian art: Arn Chorn Pond the flute player of Cambodia It is near impossible to understand present-day Cambodia or its arts without learning about Arn Chorn Pond and his flute. His endeavors and collaborations are everywhere and they share unpretentious forgiveness, optimism, authenticity, and joy through the Cambodian Living Arts. When it comes to genocide, silence is not an option. Shame is not an option. Putting behind the past is not an option. Instead, one must tell the stories of...

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Epic Arts – Changing Lives with the Arts

Epic Arts – Changing Lives with the Arts

Cambodian art (Epic Arts Cafe): Come Back Brighter celebrates Cambodia’s arts scene and narrates the country’s journey from the swinging sixties to the present day through the use of dance and archive footage.  Phnom Penh Post heralded it as "Nothing short of an astonishing and moving experience for the viewer."     Art is perhaps the most compelling and participative forms of human behavior. It creates empathy, generates personal and collective reflection, fosters dialogue,...

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KAMA, KRWF, & the Cambodian Space Project – How Julien Poulson Energizes Rock ‘n’ Roll & the Arts

KAMA, KRWF, & the Cambodian Space Project – How Julien Poulson Energizes Rock ‘n’ Roll & the Arts

Julien Poulson, founder of the Cambodian Space Project & KAMA It's impossible to get a sense of contemporary Cambodia without an introduction to Julien Poulson, founder of the Cambodian Space Project, Kampot Arts & Music Association (KAMA) and Kampot Readers & Writers Festival (KRWF). The quick primer, which leaves many chapters out, goes something like this: Before the war and Khmer Rouge, Cambodia rocked, as in rock & roll. Crooners and divas like Sinn Sisamouth and Ros...

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Pchum Ben Festival- How the Spirits Command Cambodia

Pchum Ben Festival- How the Spirits Command Cambodia

Pchum Ben Festival In just a few days I will get to experience my first Pchum Ben festival.  It does not bother me that most of the markets, restaurants, and services will be closed or that a tuk-tuk may be difficult to find. It simply fascinates me how the entire country will be celebrating and participating in rituals to honor the dead and the spirits of their families and land. Animism abounds in all of its mystery and glory during Pchum Ben. Pchum Ben is a 15-day festival which culminates...

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Sacred Ink Lotus Art – The Calm Conjuring of Morrison Polkinghorne

Sacred Ink Lotus Art – The Calm Conjuring of Morrison Polkinghorne

148913: Paths of the Lotus Ink by Morrison Polkinghorne at Bangkok, Thailand's Serindia Gallery Sacred Ink Lotus Art by Morrison Polkinghorne I kept bumping into Morrison Polkinghorne on my first visit to Battambang during the 2019 S’Art Urban Art Festival.  S'Art refers to the beauty of Urban Art and the festival is a community-driven biennial event, which promotes Battambang as an important city for Khmer culture and art. Having just arrived to live in Siem Reap, Cambodia I was already...

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Romcheik 5 Art Space – Illuminating the Darkness

Romcheik 5 Art Space – Illuminating the Darkness

In the quiet town of Battambang and away from the charming gallery district, Romcheik 5 Art Space stands alone. Named after their neighborhood, it is increasingly growing from the original factory space four young artists and their French benefactor began 7 years ago.  Gardens grow food and herbs and now a roof-top cafe, complete with a working loom weaving 100% cotton kramas, serves delectable drinks and treats with a lush view and cool breezes. Despite the serenity it presents, Romcheik 5...

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Sugar Talks at Sugar Spa – How Barbershops & Beauty Salons Create Culture

Sugar Talks at Sugar Spa – How Barbershops & Beauty Salons Create Culture

Cambodia art and culture: Sugar Talks? Stories worth listening to? Really? Put on by Sugar Spa – the place that does waxing, lashes, hair, and other ‘girlie’ stuff?  You might cringe with the mental pictures that immediately dance around the head and scoff it off – but you’d be wrong. The congruence is strangely perfect. Culture and community depend on each other.  Historically throughout much of the world, these essential conversations go on in barbershops and beauty salons – especially in...

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Channy Chhoeun Art – A Modern Khmer Audubon

Channy Chhoeun Art – A Modern Khmer Audubon

Channy Chhoeun Art Channy Chhoeun looks like he stepped out of a Hollywood movie set. In many ways, he represents the Cambodian version of Adonis, the Greek god of beauty and desire. He is poised and paints elegant images of birds and nature. Thousands and thousands of friends follow him on Facebook. He is adored and looked up to as a role model for inspiring young Khmers. And he looks beautiful with the beautiful people of the world. But Channy Chhoeun is a very real man - with a very real...

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One Eleven Gallery – Cambodia Images Gallery

One Eleven Gallery – Cambodia Images Gallery

How I failed to make the connection between Siem Reap's One Eleven Gallery and the 111 Mina Gallery in San Francisco bewilders me, especially since I have spent many delightful nights over the last two decades in the San Francisco gallery.  I tried to shrug it off while denying that I am just not as sharp as I used to be. San Franciso's 111 Mina Gallery is heralded as the first space to put art, drinking, and music together in the city over 25 years ago, and Siem Reap's One Eleven follows...

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Serey Siv- Siem Reap’s Young Rennaisance Man

Serey Siv- Siem Reap’s Young Rennaisance Man

Cambodia Art: It's a tall order to be described as a 'Renaissance Man'  but Serey Siv is a tall man. He seems to have the qualities required for such a label: curiosity, perseverance, self-discipline, a thirst for new experiences and understanding, a risk-taker, an acute awareness of history, the constant need to keep learning, and the ability to be surrounded by strong and smart people. He has certainly accomplished much in his young life. Born in Canada he found his way back to his mother's...

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Batia Sarem Contemporary Art Gallery Honors Curation

Batia Sarem Contemporary Art Gallery Honors Curation

Batia Sarem owners Lyvann Loeuk and Yves Zlotowski with artist Sovan Philong and gallery manager Martin Phéline.Batia Sarem Contemporary Art Gallery The art scene in Cambodia is a wild frontier that is wide open for all kinds of galleries. When Batia Sarem Contemporary Art Gallery opened in Siem Reap in early 2019 it was self-evident the role they had chosen to take. They planted themselves squarely as a gallery that would adhere to the timeless tenets of placing special emphasis on the...

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Why the Rock Opera “Where Elephants Weep” was a hallmark of Cambodian Culture

Why the Rock Opera “Where Elephants Weep” was a hallmark of Cambodian Culture

Cambodia Art & Culture: The Rock Opera Where Elephants Weep Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has been retold countless times, and so has the old and similar Cambodian love story Tum Teav. Where Elephants Weep is the first Cambodian rock opera. It tells a modern story about Cambodians returning to their country following 30 years of civil strife. Loosely based on an ancient Cambodian love story, the opera follows Sam, a refugee from the Khmer Rouge genocide, who leaves America to return to...

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Dambaul, Kon Len Khnhom & Meta Moeng – The Woman Who Creates Space for Artists

Dambaul, Kon Len Khnhom & Meta Moeng – The Woman Who Creates Space for Artists

Cambodian Art Spaces for earnest conversation and connection in the arts are vital but frequently lacking in communities - especially in Cambodia. Libraries and reading rooms that have collections of books that can truly open eyes and minds are even harder to find here. We all know why... but one woman is determined to do what she can to change that in Phenom Phen. Her name is Meta Moeng. I have not met her yet but I have had her described by many. These friends all speak reverentially of Ms....

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Bangsokol – A Requiem for Cambodia

Bangsokol – A Requiem for Cambodia

Cambodia Art: BANGSOKOL Two beloved Khmers and survivors of the Khmer Rouge—composer Him Sophy and filmmaker Rithy Panh (The Missing Picture)—create a musical ritual to return dignity to Cambodia's dead from the genocide. Combining traditional Cambodian music, smot chanting, ancient instruments, and powerful film, this stunning piece of music seems to sing to the heavens as it mourns those that died in the killing fields. Bangsokol is a traditional ceremony in Buddhist religion. . . . People...

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Street Art In Battambang

Street Art In Battambang

Battambang: Birthplace of Art in Cambodia Battambang is known for being the birthplace of much of the art in Cambodia, largely as a result of Phare Ponleu Selpak or 'The Brightness of the Arts' School and S'Art Urban Art Festival.  During the Khmer Rouge reign from 1975 to 1979, an estimated 90% of the country’s artists were killed or had fled. Despite being Cambodia’s second-largest city, Battambang resembles a sleepy small town, where life moves a tad slower. Yet, during the 2019 festival,...

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The Bold Women on Men’s Road – New Cambodian Artists

The Bold Women on Men’s Road – New Cambodian Artists

Cambodia Art & Dance: New Cambodian Artists
It is impossible for me to be objective in writing about the New Cambodian Artists – so I will not even try to hide my deep admiration for this female dance company in Siem Reap. Having seen hundreds of dance performances in my lifetime, these women strike me as the boldest and most intriguing I am ever encountered.

Their stories are not unlike those they share with so many others in Cambodia. They have intimately known poverty, exclusion from their families and friends for their choices to be artists, ridicule for not fulfilling traditional women’s roles, and stigmatization from the Aspara authorities for their right to dance without adhering to traditional forms.

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The Powerful Impact of Phare

The Powerful Impact of Phare

Cambodia Art: The Spider Web of Phare If you have thought about visiting Cambodia, chances are you have heard about the celebrated Phare Circus. Stay in Cambodia for a while and chances are you will continually meet people who are connected to Phare. The students, the founders, the teachers, the directors, and the many volunteers will seem to be around every corner. Phare's projects and trajectories aren't easy to grasp, so scroll down to learn about the larger picture and structure of Phare. ...

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Luke Hunt – Cambodia’s Treasured Journalist & Author

Luke Hunt – Cambodia’s Treasured Journalist & Author

Cambodia Journalist: Luke Hunt Long before arriving in Cambodia, I was reading whatever I could find from the journalist Luke Hunt, the Southeast Asian Correspondent and author who has covered so many of the challenging issues and events in the area. Hailing from Australia, Hunt has been frequently living in Cambodia since 2000. He began his Khmer encounters in the early 1990s as a reporter in Saigon following the Khmer Rouge's kidnapping and murder of three Western backpackers. He is clearly...

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Tribe Cambodia – Siem Reap’s Gathering Gallery

Tribe Cambodia – Siem Reap’s Gathering Gallery

Cambodia Art: Tribe Cambodia It has never failed: when I stop by Tribe I always end up in intriguing conversations with artists, locals, visitors, and dignitaries. Not to mention the luxurious chats with the co-owners, Nat Di Maggio & Terry McIlkenny. It is both a gallery whose art is selling well - and a true gathering place for cultural discussion and interaction with a rich range of people. Everyone gets educated about the artists they represent and learns of the multitude of ways Tribe...

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Jungle Guard – a Monk & a Forest in Danger

Jungle Guard – a Monk & a Forest in Danger

Camboida art & film: Jungle Guard - How Venerable Bun Saluth Protected the Land A film by Sleuk Rith Motion Picture Makara Ouch, Film Director The 2019 release of this film is being screened throughout Cambodia and Director Makara Ouch is generously offering his time to students, young people, and organizations that may assist in bringing awareness to Cambodia's vital environmental issues. It is filmed quietly and gently with on the ground shots of the forest, animals and the villagers,...

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