Chifumi and Theo Vallier, Phnom Penh’s street art festival, and the rise of Cambodia’s alternative art scene.
Cambodia and Khmer culture is steeped in perfection of skill and craft, from ornate wood working to powerful striking delicate posses of traditional dancers hands of the apsara. There isn’t a shortage of traditional craft workers, who’s skill is displayed in generations passing down the secrets to the craft, showing the great art in the culture. Though there is a thriving market for the traditional arts with tourist, neighboring countries and new local wealth, the alternative or what’s usaly classified as “urban” art is just now taking off. One that stands out and has brought forward a whole street art festival along with a local artist. Chifumi, who is an established street artist from France joined together with Khmer artist and Theo Vallier. Together they have come up with a muralistic form that captures the vibrant and refined culture of Cambodia, the Khmer history reflected in their own designed script, and churning of colliding world that are the streets of Phnom Penh. Be it the rise in tourism, or the raising of a lake to make way to new development, reflecting new money values, disregard for cominities and but meeting desire of a workforce… it’s often the down side to globalization but hope in making a future for ones self. Their art is the good that can come in colaberating and the possibility in an ever more connected world.
In Siem Reap, at an up coming local music and arts festival CHUBMET, was able to see part of the group paint a mural live. It was stunning.