Market – Disoriented at Plantation 

A new exhibition is set to take over the Plantation’s Lotus Pond Gallery this month.

The marketplace is a reflection of the soul of the people. It is a sensory explosion of smells,  tastes, sights and sounds.

Cambodia’s markets are a microcosm of its culture and society – they embody organised chaos, immersing one in the passions of everyday life.

Market – Disoriented is a collaborative exhibition by artists Chhan Dina and Takakazu Yamada that explores the theme of Cambodia’s markets as the archetypal element of Cambodian culture and its authenticity.

Strolling through one of the Kingdom’s markets can be a disorienting experience: the anarchic cacophony of chatter, narrow compartments filled with fumes from the nearby food stalls, the endless labyrinth of clothes, shoes, fabrics or household goods.

Yet in the hustle and bustle of the market, one can observe a realm of stories, relations and interactions, which reflect the soul of Cambodian culture.

It is this very depth which artists Chhan and Takakazu seek to render through a juxtaposition of their contrasting styles and techniques.

Chhan explains that the identity of Cambodia is seen inside and around the market.

“It is part of everyday life,” the artist says. “We thought it would be best to paint about something that is very Cambodian.”

“It is the liveliness of the Cambodian people that I always feel in the market” adds Yamada.

In Market – Disoriented, the contrasting styles of artists Dina and Yamada serve to bring forth distinctive visions of the Cambodian markets. Yamada for instance explores the notion of the market spilling out into the city.

“The market means a lot of shops, but I feel that Phnom Penh city itself is the market, crowded with motorbikes and tuk-tuks. It’s messy and amazing,” says Chan, who in turn, is inspired by bright colours and particular elements of objects.

“One thing I focus on in my paintings are fish eyes – I find them so emotional, when I walk in the market I always look at them. They inspire me, the green, blue,” she adds.

Through this comparison, the artists aim to celebrate the friendship between the two countries they hail from.

“We hope that Cambodian people also see this art, we want people to see that all of our imaginations are different and exciting,” says Chan.

This exhibition is a tribute to 65 years of friendship between Cambodia and Japan.

It opens at the Lotus Pond Gallery, Plantation on Feb. 8 with a launch party from 6.30pm, and runs until Mar. 19.

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