December 16, 2015

"Thread of Life" : New mural in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

These are photos of my most recent mural painted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of the Igloo Hong Project. It is based on my photographs of a local Khmer artisan named Moeun Thary, who hand-embroiders traditional Khmer ceremonial garments. The ring of designs behind her is from one of her pieces.
The mural is on the north-facing end of a large housing complex from the 1960s called the White Building, known for its community of low-income tenants and artists. Since I had the opportunity to paint such a large, visible wall in a place where there are seemingly no other large scale murals like it, I felt an extra sense of responsibility to paint something beautiful, meaningful, and uplifting.
This mural honors Cambodia's artists, both contemporary and those lost during the Cambodian genocide of the mid to late 1970s, when nearly all of the country's creative population was targeted and murdered by the regime.
I hope this mural can serve as a respectful tribute to the importance and perseverance of Cambodia's creative legacy, and possibly, in some small way, offer inspiration for younger Cambodian artists to sustain this legacy.

Many thanks to the Igloo Hong project, the David Young Choe Foundation, Moeun, Dave, Matt, Dylan, Chally, Ashley & Ruben at Hotel Omana, Tuan, Paco, Steve, Jason, Kaye, and everyone else that helped make this mural possible. Much love to Cambodia. Shout outs to Aryz, James, Rhode & Esao.
(the 4th, 5th and last photo were taken by Paco Raterta)