Beauty in the chaos
punctuated by gilt-roofed temples instead of skyscrapers.
At the hub of Cambodia’s art scene is Dana Langlois’s two-storey, gleaming Java Café, where I caught Chov Theanly, a visual artist reviving the lost art of oil on canvas to show characters semi-submerged in water, with just their noses emerging hopefully into clear air.
Then there’s Anida Yoeu Ali’s large orange Buddhist Bug, possibly inspired by Lewis Carroll; and Nicolas C Grey’s playfully intense HorrorVacui, or ‘fear of empty space’. It’s also worth seeing the innovative gallery, Meta House, and the experimental space, Sa Sa Art. Then, after meandering along Street 178—also known as Art Street— to see the Reyum Gallery and the National Museum, it’s back to Raffles for a cooling dip in the sapphire pool beneath sun-soaked frangipani. Contact: Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; tel: +855 2398 1888; www.raffles.com.