Sunday, January 4, 2009

Preah Vihear on show

Artist Srey Bandol poses alongside one of his exhibits at Meta House
Battambang's finest artist Srey Bandol opened his first exhibition at Meta House on Saturday night with a collection of twelve mixed media drawings from his first-ever visit to the mountaintop temple of Preah Vihear. His visit, in August last year, coincided with a downpour hence the title of his exhibition, Raining At Preah Vihear, and his drawings, which have a dream-like, ethereal quality to them, reflect his thoughts on the situation he found during his visit, that the temple and history are not clearly seen. In fact, he sketched with one hand, whilst the other held an umbrella, and later found that his drawings were unusable, so had to redraw all of the works, to which he then added newspaper cuttings and his own handwritten words to give each picture its own currency. Bandol is the art and animation director at Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang, teaching and producing his own artwork in a variety of media, though he's best known for his fine pencil drawings. He's had exhibitions in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap as well as exhibiting overseas in Norway and the Philippines, and Reyum have published two books of his work. The exhibition will last until 10 January. As part of a Preah Vihear double-header on the same night, press photographer Vandy Rattana presented a selection of his photos from a one-week visit to Preah Vihear a few months earlier, which gave the audience an idea of the situation he found between the Cambodian and Thai soldiers occupying the temple complex.
Srey Bandol's ethereal drawing of Gopura V at Preah Vihear
A giant naga is the focus of this drawing from Preah Vihear
Two of the 12 drawings by Srey Bandol at Meta House
Looking down at Gopura V from the causeway leading to the main temple
The walls of the exhibition at Meta House
The title of the selection of photographs by Vandy Rattana

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