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Oct 10 2019 by maads
Cambodian-Canadian artist FONKi subverts visual genres in his energetic quest for a Khmer revival. With another young visual artist, Ranon Phal, he's giving Phnom Penh a major exhibition on November 8, 2019.
In his workshop high up an old building on a non-gentrified street of Phnom Penh, Fonki Yav aka FONKi recounts a short yet intense life from street art, which is discovered as a 15-year old teen in Montreal, to a novel exploration of the ancient art of Kbach, the Khmer design. From a childhood spent in France -- where his parents fled the Khmer Rouge -- and Canada to his decision to come back to his ancestors' country starting from 2012.
He points to the giant on the wall, a painting obviously under the influence of Angkorian architecture, yet with bright purple and orange touches -- he clearly loves Indian chromos -- and with smallish characters frolicking in the background, including his own cartoonish self.
One of the "returnees" born in the Cambodian diaspora and rediscovering their origins (he was featured in the 2015 documentary The Roots Remain by Jean-Sébastien Francoeur and Andrew Marchand-Boddy), FONKi sees himself as a citizen of the world, but one devoted to the revival of Khmer creativity. "I really am into this concept of Khmer Renaissance, not imitating ancient art forms but finding renewed inspiration in them."
Together, they will share their vivid and exploratory works with the public at Rosewood Gallery in Phnom Penh, from 8 November, 2019.
full https://maads.asia/blog/2019/from-graff ... enaissance
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