The Cambodian city of Battambang is reinventing itself after disappearing for a while in the darkness and blood shed of civil war. Old Battambang had a great tradition of art. Nowadays however, modern development is turning the city into a haphazard mess of poorly designed, garishly colored buildings. Beautiful old houses are knocked down, the streets are dirty and people seem to care more about themselves than their town and culture.
Mao Soviet, 32 years, and his wife Phin, 29 years, have the hope, that people will come to their senses, the great architecture will return and Battambang’s many artists will be able to transform the town into the jewel in Cambodias crown. Mao and Phin are two of the artists of Battambang. I meet them in their gallery Make Maek in the center of the city.
“In 1996 I started learning at Phare Ponleu Selpak, an artistic school at Battambang. After graduation in 2002 I had the feeling that I don`t know anything. I continued with my school education for 2 more years. After I worked as a freelance graphic designer until 2006. I decided to stop drawing because my style has been similar to my teacher’ s style. I didn’t like to draw like him. In 2010 I changed to sculpture work and in 2012 I added big and small installations to my art work. Now I am happy, I guess I found my style.”