Battambang Artistic Talent Showcased

Battambang is living up to its reputation as Cambodia’s creative hub as more than 25 artists living and working in the city gear up to showcase their talent with 100 pieces of work in Phnom Penh this month.

The group exhibition, Made In Battambang, aims to throw the spotlight on the province’s creative talent by presenting a diverse and original range of artistic pieces. The exhibition at the Institut Francais Cambodge in Phnom Penh also serves as a tribute to the city that has preserved a controlled development, architectural masterpieces and an artistic dynamism.

Battambang has always been renowned as being the country’s main nursery for creators. The development of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS), which is behind the famous circus school, over the last decade has increased the revival of this tradition. This spurred on the opening of contemporary art galleries, such as Maek Maek, Sammaki, and Lotus gallery. Cafe gallery, Chocol’art, Kinyei, also serves the city and there is a range of individual or collective artist studios, including Romcheik 5, Studio-Art.

While tourism is not the main industry in Battambang, during the last three years there has been an increase in individual and cultural tourism primarily due to the growing reputation of the local artists.

As its title indicates, to participate in this exhibition artists must be a Battambang resident or submit work created there. Because of this, well-known artists who were born or trained in Battambang but have left the city to live and work elsewhere, such as Oeur Sokuntheavy, Yim Maline, Svay Sareth, Pen Robit and Kim Hak, were not included. Instead, a range of self-taught and independent artists, not from PPS or related to a gallery or a collective workshop, are part of the project.

Made In Battambang opens on Feb. 13 at 6.30pm with a live painting session at Institut Francais Cambodge, 218 Street 184. It runs until Mar. 25.