Batttambang is home to more artists than any other Cambodian city. The Sammaki Gallery in Battambang is the leading place for exhibitions.
I meet Sokhom Roeun and Bo Rithy, two young Cambodian artists, during the presentation of their work at the gallery.
Sokhom Roeun was born in Battambang in 1987 and graduated from Phare Ponleu Selpak Visual Arts school in 2007. In 2013 he started the Battambang Arts Studio with his fellow Bo Rithy. Sokhom Roeun has exhibited in Thailand, France and Japan as well as further exhibitions in Cambodia. With his art, Sokhom wants his audience to understand about who he really is and what he thinks and feels about life and the world.
He shows a salt and sugar installation.
“Salt represents bad persons and a strong taste. Sugar represents good persons, who are nice and beautiful.” He explains his installation with upside down dishes. “Culture and things are changing. People use things until they break. Some of the dishes have Cambodian design. My purpose is to show our culture which we are losing more and more day by day.”
Bo Rithy was born 1989 in the southern region of Kampuchea Krom near the Vietnamese border. In 2001 he moved to Battambang and in 2010 he got his diploma from the same art school like Sokhom Roeun and Mao Soviet. As mentioned above he started in 2012 the Battambang Arts Studio together with Sokhom Roeun. Rithy has exhibited in France and Thailand. He experiments with different styles and techniques and tries to capture the transition of his culture from traditional to modern.