Pen Robit,  a well-known local painters had did a solo exhibition at Silapak Trochaek Pneik (STP) gallery called Wings of Tomorrow. Just two months later on March 3, he set up a mysterious and splendid exhibition named The Ontology of Form and Colour at Rosewood’s Art Gallery that will be on display until end April.
The show comprises 21 oil paintings and U-90 enamel house paint on canvas. The Ontology of Form and Colour has Robit imaginatively contemplating notions of form and landscape in the context of man-made environments with the use of black and red symbolizing the backdrop of Cambodia’s post-conflict reconstruction.
Yean Reaksmey, STP’s founder and programme director, says in his opening speech that Robit’s fascination with the Krama and the history of it begin with his art teacher – the late Srey Bandaul – and his visit to the Killing Fields during his “Memory” workshop.
Robit further explains that he is focusing on the buildings, bridges and city to discover more colours. He learned the story of Khmer rouge from Srey Bandaul and it was through that history that he became interested in the krama.
He was fascinated by its history and how the krama has been used in Cambodian society – especially in the Khmer Rouge period when it reflected on people’s status and background.
“I’m sort of bringing together the Cambodian history of how the country stood back up and repopulated its cities and rebuilt other infrastructure after that period. I used the krama as my main concept as you can obviously see it in my paintings and it represents culture and tradition,” Robit explains to media.
In earlier works, Robit used krama as the interconnecting fabric weaving together components across the body of society and in The Ontology of Form and Colour his inquiry into the krama continues as it is interwoven with urban and cosmopolitan conditions denoted by the use of U-90 industrial paint and the aesthetic of metal mesh.
Robit displayed incredible patience while creating the paintings for his latest show through use of a slow dripping method, says Reaksmey.
“When the world is trapped in the ‘neo-dark-ages,’ so to speak, colour can always help to lighten up the day and our life – it offers the world some beauty and hope,” the 31-year-old artist says.
The program provides the artist time and resources including space for library and financial resources and other administrative help so that artists can individually develop their craft and creatively explore new ideas.
“Our residency has been supported by the US Embassy in Cambodia and Robit was the first who received it and now we have another recipient whom is Chan Dany. He’s now transforming the gallery into a research studio to develop his body of work. Hopefully he will finish someday soon,” says Reaksmey.
Robit’s creative process allows interplay between control and release, a dynamic that is central to Buddhist conceptions of the path towards liberation.
The Ontology of Form and Colour is the first partnership between STP and Rosewood and Reaksmey says he hopes that they can continue to work together in the near future to promote the Cambodian artists and to enrich Cambodian culture.



Flatiron by Meridian, Unit FO-1401, Street 102
Phnom Penh City Center, Sangkat Srah Chak
Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.