The MonumentBy Pen Robit
Canvas, Enamel paint on canvas
Dimensions: 150cm (H) x 150cm (W) x 3cm (D) / 59.1" (H) x 59.1" (W) x 1.2" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
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The destruction left by the Khmer Rouge and years of conflict are felt across the different aspects of Cambodia, including its culture, heritage, and architecture. As Cambodia heads towards urbanization and reconstruction, Robit’s Rebuilding on the Black invites viewers to look at these efforts through a personal lens. Out of the twenty-three paintings, fourteen paintings are featured in the exhibition to highlight the peripheral areas that require restoration such as “the Education, the History and the Culture of the Kingdom.”
In his paintings, Robit constructs an imaginary metropolis by merging the different parts of Cambodian society and portraying them in geometrical shapes such as rectangles, squares, and triangles. These shapes are then filled in with the pattern of a krama – a traditional Cambodian scarf. The krama is a symbol of Cambodia’s national identity as well as a common piece of garment worn by the working class and the people in the rural areas of the country. Here, the krama is portrayed as part of the architecture, acting like a foundation that one can build upon.
As a whole, the works contain a blend between harmony and contrast, fusing colours and forms, a testament to the artist’s ways of experimentation. It is also a way for Robit to reinvent himself in these moments, allowing him to reconcile the disparity between imagination and reality.
Hometown: Phnom Penh
Based in: Phnom Penh
Pen Robit (b. 1991, Battambang province, Cambodia) lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Robit’s work attempts to represent Cambodia’s past, present and future socio-political fabric. He draws influences from Cambodian cultural iconography as well as ongoing societal discourses.
He has been selected as an artist-in-residence for the following: OzAsia Festival …
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