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 is contributing to Cambodian artists and the national culture. Better yet, most of us become friends.
Hailing from the UK, Terry and Nat were baptized in the street art scene as collectors and curators. Once they opened Tribe Cambodia in Siem Reap’s modish Kendall Village, they immediately energized the urban art scene by bringing international artists to paint wall murals and showcase their work while investing their time and talent to encourage Khmer artists to recognize their global possibilities. Terry and Nat find and nourish emerging Khmer artists and spend time, money and lots of effort to help them succeed.
Within a year’s time, Tribe had convinced their neighborhood to let them create COCONUT ALLEY where infamous Irish artist Fin DAC painted the breathtaking “Kandalis” mural. They are now preparing a stretch of the hospital wall across from the gallery for another showcase of street art.
It’s one of the rare places where works by superstar street artists Fin DAC and Pure Evil sit alongside emerging Khmer artists.
Tribe’s efforts and collaboration with S’Art Urban Art Festival in 2018 in Battambang left an endearing mark when Fin DAC stayed a week at Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO school and painted a huge mural on the facade of the main circus hall. The work represents a traditional Apsara dancer and is known as Anaphyabal, the Guardian, Mother and Protector of the campus.
Tribe Cambodia recently finished a fund-raising event for the Phare school by selling and donating the money from prints of Anaphyabal. She now hangs in businesses and homes throughout Cambodia and around the world. She’s on mine, too.
Tribe hosts many artist talks and exhibition openings at the gallery. They feel like neighborhood parties. The energy is always high and the spirit inclusive. There are no stuffy artsy attitudes at all. All are welcomed and embraced.
Tribe Cambodia and Open Studio Cambodia are collaborating after Lauren Iida’s Open Studio moved from Kampot to Siem Reap this summer. Now the three artists from Kampot have private studios at Tribe and a large open patio to work in. They have already brightened the patio walls with murals and nestled into their studios. It is a leap for these artists to leave their families and familiar territory to come to Siem Reap to grow their talents but they are already spreading their wings with new work and exhibitions in Siem Reap and Phnom Phen. Open Studio artists are Lauren Iida, Lavy Long, Chan Phoun and Morn Chear.
Tribe is presently representing Phirom Styles, Fin DAC, Pure Evil, Banksy, Nak Noy, and Carne Griffiths. All of Tribe and Open Studio artists’ work is on view at the gallery.
Contemporary Art Gallery & Cocktail Bar. Showcasing international Street Art whilst nurturing and supporting local Khmer Talent.
655 Central Market Street
Siem Reap, Cambodia