With Cambodian art rising in popularity both at home and abroad, Discover showcases five galleries where travellers can pick out a piece to bring home
Artist Teang Borin, known as Din, is an architect turned full-time painter. He was born in Kampot province and has no formal art training, and is known worldwide for his abstract and vivid portrayals of traditional apsara dancers. His other works tackle homosexuality, religion and society. His gallery and studio are nestled above Feel Good Café on Phnom Penh’s Street 136.
Sa Sa Bassac
This Phnom Penh gallery and resource centre opened its doors in 2011. Travellers find the gallery by trekking up a small stairwell close to Wat Ounalom on the city’s riverside. Sa Sa Bassac’s multi-storey space hosts exhibitions of local and international artists, and is one of Cambodia’s most active arts organisations. By partnering with regional and international institutions, it provides a broad platform for talented artists including Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina, Chan Dany and Tith Kanitha.
Kbach Gallery offers something a little different on Phnom Penh’s artsy Street 178, where many shop walls are covered with the traditional paintings of Angkor Wat. Kbach shows modern urban paintings and metal sculptures by Cambodian artists. Contemporary and historical themes emerge in these bold works. The shop is for serious collectors, with some pieces costing up to $10,000. “I’m selling to mature markets and giving the artists the exposure they deserve and the value they deserve,” says Kbach founder Tony Francis.
Sangker Gallery in Battambang, opened in 2014, prides itself on being a living space where artists collaborate, work on projects and find materials for their creations. The two-storey gallery’s exhibitions of established artists and rising stars change often. The gallery hosts film screenings, debates, meetings and workshops with the aim of bringing contemporary art to the Cambodian public. Any visit to Battambang should include a stop at Sangker.
This stunning wooden house is the home and gallery of Cambodian artist and designer Lim Muy Theam. Theam’s House is a short drive from Siem Reap’s city centre and the gates of Angkor Wat. The grounds abound with tropical flora and Theam’s traditional handicrafts. He is best known for his wooden lacquerware, decorated with brightly coloured elephants or geckos. His paintings, textiles and statues are stunning.