In Siem Reap, the newly opened Treeline Urban Resort has built into its foundation an open-air gallery where contemporary Cambodian artists can display their works on rotation, contributing their pieces to one of the four themed exhibits each year. At the recent launch of the resort’s inaugural exhibit, called Face Forward, the first artists to display at the Treeline gathered to discuss their work, the challenges they’ve overcome and the future of contemporary art in the Kingdom.
Southeast Asian art has historically been steeped in religious and cultural imagery, and the Kingdom is no exception. In Cambodia, attention in the art community is often paid to the preservation of ancient art forms: the apsara dance is performed at schools across the country, traditional tattoo artists hold tightly to their craft and most paintings that decorate the walls of homes and stores are iterations of the stone faces and lush forests characteristic of the Kingdom’s temples.
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