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In Essence

Chef Yasuda Daiki named his Phnom Penh restaurant Dashi after what he considers the fundamental component of Japanese cuisine. “The most important element of Japanese food, the basis of the cuisine, is dashi,” he said.

Always Alone

As far back as he can remember, artist Nget Chan­penh has been aware that everyone is profoundly alone in life. “I’ve always known that being surrounded by people does not mean you’re filled with joy and happiness,” he said.

Century Dancer

Em Theay does not know exactly when she was born. All she remembers is that she was a little girl living at the Royal Palace when King Norodom Sihanouk was crowned in 1941. Her father was a servant to the royal family, and her mother was a cook at the palace. Fascinated by the Royal Ballet dancers, she was allowed to join the palace’s Khmer classical dance class when she was around 6 years old.

Royal Outposts

In the late 9th century, King Yasovarman I ascended to the throne of the Khmer kingdom with ambitious plans for his realm. First, he moved his capital from Roluos, east of what is now Siem Reap City, to a site dominated by a hill. On top of it, he built the temple of Phnom Bakheng, founding the city that would serve as the capital of the Khmer empire for the next 500 years. He called it Yasodharapura—the city of Yasovarman. It is known today as Angkor.

Our Atlantis

Loven Ramos, a Filipino painter, photographer, designer and poet based in Siem Reap City, wants viewers to imagine themselves as archaeologists a thousand years from now when confronting the objects in his latest exhibition.

Return of the Gods

Over the past few years, Leang Seckon has been using his art to explore the turmoil that engulfed every Cambodian in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, with the mural-size works he created for his first New York exhibition next week at the Sundaram Tagore Galleries, Mr. Seckon will seek to bring artistic closure to those decades of misery, using the recent repatriation of a looted Cambodian antiquity to symbolize the spiritual end of decades of civil war.

Psycho Thriller

When he finishes his upcoming psychological thriller, “Mind Cage,” Indian director Amit Dubey says he hopes local audiences will be entertained by their first taste of a genre new to Cambodia.

Street Artist

On a sweltering afternoon at Phnom Penh’s Choam Chao market this week, people on motorbikes crowded around a bright green tuk-tuk. Surrounded by stalls offering mobile phones and other electronics, Phe Sophon was selling iced coffee, fruit sodas and ice cream.

Washed Away

During his recent trip to Siem Reap City, Australian artist Andy Townsend got into the habit of taking refuge at Wat Bo pagoda, sitting quietly for a few hours with his sketchbook, pens and pencils.

French Renaissance

Around the 15th century, a wind of change swept over Europe as artists and scientists sought to replace outdated concepts and beliefs with new approaches. This led to the era known as the Renaissance—or rebirth. Organizers of the Lille 3000 cultural program in northern France are convinced that a similar wind has been blowing over the world since the turn of the 21th century.

Kickin’ Around

Standing in a circle and kicking around a small, woven ball, sepak takraw players on the riverside, outside high schools or in other public spaces in Phnom Penh often draw a small crowd.

Bittersweet Scars

The trees bursting with red flowers lining Phnom Penh’s Sihanouk Boulevard—giving a vibrant hue to the view from Java Cafe’s balcony—are reflected in “The Flame Tree of Knowledge,” Chath Piersath’s favorite painting in his current exhibit, “Scar,” showing at Java.

Spreading Sounds

After growing up in South Central Los Angeles, graduating from college and starting a family, Seak Smith began seeking a better understanding of her heritage, one that extended beyond the horrors of the Pol Pot regime.

Temple on High

From the very start, this temple was meant to be special. Why else would people build it on top of a mountain that, more than a thousand years after the first structure was erected, is still a long and arduous climb to reach?

Simple Stories

Over the seven minutes of Polen Ly’s short film “Colorful Knots,” the characters begin a friendship—moments stolen at red lights and cut off once the window rolls up as the car drives away.

Old Made New

Just across the street from the Sangke River in the heart of Battambang city, a small building of traditional Khmer style stands in the shade of tall trees.

Kingdom of Queens

Krin Sopheap says the most difficult part of his transformation into Gaga Rainbow is applying his makeup. “I’m not yet an expert at putting on makeup,” the 22-year-old native of Pursat province admitted. “I only know [how] to do about 50 percent of it.”

Staging Grace

The magic starts from the very first note of traditional music and, during the next 80 minutes, the Khmer classical dancers in the ballet “Pamina Devi” transport the audience into a saga punctuated by conflicts, fierce battles and, also, love.

Breaking Bread

Prom Vichet’s painting entitled “Braised Beef and Bread” depicts a table with barely touched bread, a nearly full bowl of beef stew, a plate of rice paddy herb called “ma’am” and a half-full glass of water: a typical Cambodian breakfast.

Global Show

Circus companies from five countries performing in three Cambodian cities over 10 days. This is what the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival is offering this month starting Thursday in Phnom Penh and ending May 16 in Battambang City.