Angkor photo festival returns to Siem Reap’s Iconic Hotel De La Paix

From 3 November to 8 December 2011, Siem Reap’s renowned Hôtel de la Paix will host a dual exhibition as part of the Angkor Photo Festival, infusing many of the hotel’s public areas with some of Cambodia’s finest contemporary art. The exhibition will encompass the hotel’s pioneering Arts Lounge, where ‘Water is Life’ by MAK Remissa, one of Cambodia’s most celebrated photographers, will be displayed; as well as its recently-opened Thev Gallery and the courtyard Fire Garden, where acclaimed photographer and former pupil of Remissa, SOVAN Philong, will show his collection ‘Crickets’. The two collections provide very different yet complementary insights into aspects of Cambodian life and environment.

Running from 19 – 26 November, the hotly-anticipated Angkor Photo Festival will bring together influential photographers from around the world, showcasing print exhibitions and outdoor projections, and aims to highlight emerging talents from South East Asia. The festival sets itself apart due to its strong humanitarian objectives, including free workshops – tutored by renowned artists – for emerging Asian photographers; and photo workshops at Anjali House, an NGO which provides refuge, care and education for underprivileged children in the city.

A photojournalist for the European Pressphoto Agency, MAK Remissa is one of the most successful Khmer photographers of his generation. In 1997 Remissa claimed both first and third place in a national photojournalism competition, and since then has exhibited in Cambodia, France, Canada and the USA. Seven of his works are part of the permanent collection of the Singapore Art Museum.

A professional photographer for less than three years, 25 year old SOVAN Philong studied under Remissa and has already exhibited at the Les Rencontres d’Arles international photography festival and the Musee du Quai Branly’s Biennial Photoquai in France.

Both Remissa and Philong have been members of the Asia Motion photo agency based in Cambodia since 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The British curator of Hôtel de la Paix’s Arts Lounge, Sasha Constable comments, “With the current flooding situation in Cambodia having tragic consequences for rural communities, this exhibition could hardly be more timely, with both shows illustrating the profound influence that water has on everyday life in Cambodia”. In addition to curating shows at the Arts Lounge, Sasha – the great great great granddaughter of landscape master John Constable – is also a renowned artist in her own right, and has just opened an exhibition of her own work, entitled ‘Life Beyond’, at Phnom Penh’s Java Café and Gallery, running until 20 November 2011.

Hôtel de la Paix’s pioneering Arts Lounge offers an ever-changing exhibition space, providing guests and visitors with the opportunity to contemplate and enjoy the works in an ambient and thought provoking setting. Earlier this year the hotel also opened the Thev Gallery to provide a further platform to showcase the work of Cambodian artists, and some of the inspirational community causes which form such a fundamental part of Hotel de la Paix’s raison d’être. This latest exhibition is a further demonstration of the hotel’s wholehearted commitment to celebrating and nurturing the burgeoning Cambodian art scene.

Source = Hotel De La Paix
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