The Asia Foundation Community Art Gallery

The Asia Foundation Community Art Gallery asks you three questions:

  • What makes Phnom Penh a livable city?
  • What do you enjoy about the city?
  • What’s your vision for “your” Phnom Penh?

Imagine a modern city. Most cities in the world have green opened spaces, clearly marked sidewalks and walking trails, places where people can walk, run, and stroll with family members while noticing the important, unique sites of an urban city. These trails are safe and set aside for people to use. There is at least one natural body of water, surrounded by trees, and tables for picnics and gatherings. People are free to gather, and they delight in being outside together, as there is fresh air. It is beautiful and natural. Imagine Phnom Penh being a city such as this. What would it look like? What would it feel like? How would it be different? What would need to change to ensure this?

The Asia Foundation’s Community Art Gallery offers an inviting, modest, dedicated space for conversations to take place about a rapidly changing Phnom Penh.  The gallery provides the visual expression of what residents like about the city.  The gallery tests new ideas and offers examples of what the city could be.  When you walk into it you immediately recognize it as a place where imagination is happening – there’s a reconsideration of the shapes and contours of an evolving cityscape – riversides, buildings, open spaces, parks, roundabouts, pedestrian walks, bike lanes, metro lines and other forms of public transport, historic districts, sculpture, and sidewalks.  Whether painter, designer, architect, animator, filmmaker, photographer or planner, The Asia Foundation Community Art Gallery is a storehouse of ideas made by the city’s visionaries.

Curated in coordination with visual artist Khiang Hei, The Asia Foundation Community Art Gallery will host a new exhibition every three months.  Each exhibition will explore a different medium, whether painting, architectural drawing, map, city plan, sculpture, model, or documentary films or animated cartoon. The first exhibition will take place the first week of November, 2014.  In this group show, Kong Vollak, one of Phnom Penh’s emerging artists, will demonstrate how he uses the city as his subject of expression.  In the second exhibition, Kanitha Tan, among a group of other socially- conscious architects, will show their works in conjunction with the Our City Festival, organized by Java Cafe.  In the third exhibition, the space will be given to emerging artists to present their work. The third exhibition will be promoted through an art competition with award making presided over by leading artists in Cambodia. The fourth exhibition will be a solo exhibition by an artist yet to be named. From there, the gallery will continue to exhibit works, as an ongoing and evolving community develops and inspires further expressions and discussions.