Friday, 25 February 2011 15:00 Peter Olszewski
Woon’s new tune
Siem Reap’s popular tourist attraction, the floating forest, is the backdrop for the video of the second single from UK singer-songwriter and producer Jamie Woon’s forthcoming debut album, Mirrorwriting.
Woon, who recently placed fourth on the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll and who also recently wowed Phnom Penh, has just released the visuals of him singing an a cappella version of "Lady Luck".
The evocative video was filmed on Tonle Sap and was created by author and director Suridh Hassan of London’s mega trendy The SRK Studio.
On the studio’s website, Hassan commented on the video and said: “Filmed this just before Xmas and it was a sweet little shoot … a few Korean tourists got on our nerves but the persistence of everyone in our little boat paid off.”
Art house explosion
THE emergent trend in Siem Reap seems to be for artists to transform part of their houses into studios and galleries that are open to the public.
One of Temple Town’s most successful commercial graphic designers, Loven Ramos, is also one of the Reap’s leading art-for-art’s-sake creative exponents.
He’s the driving force behind the high-profile Art Deli, and tonight he’s launching “phase one” of his new villa home and studio, 1961, with the slogan “today is yesterday’s tomorrow”.
He said 1961 came to him “as an inspiration to the ‘nowness’ of how we all imagined the future to be in the sixties. The decade of revolutions in art, fashion, architecture, politics, and music, the 1960s were also Cambodia’s golden age”.
Not, of course, that Loven was alive in the ’60s, as he’s now only 32 years of age. But he vigorously makes his claim to be a child of the ’60s by stating that his mother was a hip fashion designer in that era and he grew up surrounded by photos and memorabilia of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
For more information, contact Loven on 015 378 088.
Meanwhile, Lim Muy Theam, who participated in the creation of Artisans d’Angkor, where he was artistic director for more than 10 years, is opening his new studio, atelier and residence, Theam’s House, tonight.
The Paris-trained artist now specialises in lacquered polychrome paintings that are mostly figurative.
He says that being “fascinated by nature in transformation, impassioned by the Khmer culture and the revival of Cambodian life after decades of war and silence”, the main aim of his new venture is “to create an open space of free expression and exchange where emotion and knowledge can be shared in various artistic and cultural fields”.
THE Victoria Angkor Resort in Siem Reap has signed up the Yale Whiffenpoofs to perform their collegiate a cappella ditties sometime in early June this year.
The Whiffenpoofs are the oldest collegiate group in the US, having been founded in 1909. One of its best-known alumni is Cole Porter, who sang in the 1913 lineup of the Whiffenpoofs when he was a student at Yale. Now the group often performs Porter songs in tribute.
The group has previously performed in Siem Reap and is popular among people who like that sort of thing. The word whiffenpoof originated in the 1908 opera Little Nemo, based on a comic strip called Little Nemo in Slumberland.
Photo show launches
IT’S a busy time for the arts tonight, February 25, in Siem Reap, with the Angkor Hospital for Children launching a new photography exhibition that will run until July.
Portraits from Burma and China by Monica Denevan features photographs from the two vastly different Asian countries. The photographer’s specialty seems to be Myanmar where she has been photographing for 10 years, taking many intimate portraits of Myanmar friends and families on the Irrawaddy River.
The press release states: “Denevan’s composed photographs integrate the figure within the natural environment, away from cities and villages. Her work is quiet and meditative, languid and sensual.”
San Francisco-born Denevan studied photography at San Francisco State University. Her photographs have been exhibited in Hong Kong, Paris, London and Los Angeles. In Siem Reap, her work has been shown at the McDermott Gallery in 2006, and at the Grand Hotel d’Angkor in 2007.
She is represented by Scott Nichols Gallery in San Francisco, Tao Evolution in Hong Kong, Capital Culture in London, and Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles.
The launch starts at 6:30pm and runs until 8:30pm. The hospital founder, Kenro Izu, will attend, there will be a performance by children from the Siem Reap International School and there will be a raffle at the end of the evening.
For more information, contact Ms Liem Sokunthea on 092 533 052.