Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tradition in good hands

Hanuman, the monkey god in fine detail
A favourite Cambodian artist of mine is Chhim Sothy. His traditional style paintings, usually acrylic on canvas, bring figures like Hanuman, Rama, Lakshmana and Ravana alive with his flowing brush strokes and intricate artwork that regularly feature scenes from the Ramayana epic and Buddhist themes. A prolific artist, though each painting can take two to three weeks to complete, Sothy, now 40 years old, was trained in the traditional artforms including sculpture, graduating from the Fine Arts school in 1996. His works have been exhibited just about everywhere in Cambodia as well as overseas exhibitions in far-flung places like the USA, France, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and China. A display of nearly forty of his best works are currently being exhibited at the Dept of Culture & Fine Arts on Street 63 and the exhibition finishes at the end of this month. His Ramayana characters are displayed in full alongwith some of his less traditional abstract pieces. All of the artwork is for sale from $200 upwards. I recommend you get along and see it for yourself, and if you time it right, you can meet Sothy in person. He has time for everyone so stop for a chat in English, French or Khmer, or visit his studio on Street 109.
The artist at his own exhibition, Chhim Sothy
Traditional scenes abound at Chhim Sothy's exhibition on St 63
Two Ramayana figures in mortal combat
Another traditional Ramayana scene from Chhim Sothy's exhibition



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, I think Chhim Sothy's art drawings and paintings are very professional. He could probably paint the old Ream Ke fiasco wall painting at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh as well as his traditional Khmer paintings are so good, to say the least.

February 24, 2009 1:28 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I agree that his artwork is very professional. And yes if they needed an artist to refurnish the fresco wall paintings at the Silver Pagoda, then Chhim Sothy would be a great choice.

February 24, 2009 8:51 AM  

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