TWO EXHIBITION OPENINGS THURSDAY, JAN 6, 2011
Happy New Year! Come to the openings of these exciting new exhibiitons, meet the artists and discover their latest work!
• Stolen Narratives by Chath Piersath at the Main Gallery (1st fl)
• Know-it-All by William Graef at the Lounge Gallery (ground fl)
Opening 6 – 9pm Thursday, January 6, 2010
Showing January 6 – 30, 2011
Java Café & Gallery
56 Sihanouk Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Chath PierSath (Cambodia)
Chath PierSath is not a painter in the classical sense. He doesn’t use painting in order to represent a given subject, narrative, or concept. The very act of painting and drawing is in fact the central function of his work. The main focus of his production is not what the paintings are about, but solely his own obsessive search for images, with which he aims to reconstruct a past that was violently erased from his personal life. He paints erasure.
Chath Piersath was born in Banteay Meanchey province, Cambodia, in 1970 and came to the United States as a refugee in 1981. He received a Bachelor degree in 1993 from New College of California in International Service and Development and after a MA in Community Social Psychology. Chath began painting in year 2000 as a way of exorcising his memory of war and violence. He uses art to work with people who have been traumatized by war, social inequity and injustices and as his own personal expression. Since he returned to Cambodia for the first time in 1994 he has lived between his adopted home in the United tates and in Cambodia, to volunteer as a social worker and work as an artist.
Gecko Skull Masks by William Graef (USA)
Like the flower of the sacred lotus, the common house Gecko is a Asian icon. This tiny pet-like lizard sees and hears all yet remains invisible, a welcome innocuous “fly on the wall”, all knowing. Except to camouflage his presence, he remains a constant observer, unchanged, a witness to Cambodia’s history where, in the past decade, change has occurred at an alarming pace. With exponential development in transportation, real estate, and communications, the exploding Khmer population now finds itself in company with the developed world’s “rathttp://www.sangsalapak.org.kh/wp-admin/post-new.php
race”. With the benefits of this modernity come all the trappings of glaring inequality, greed, conspicuous consumption, drug abuse, corruption. Reflecting this shifting lifestyle, these enlarged skulls of the Gecko become a medium expressing contemporary culture through common materials mined from everyday life in the Kingdom.
When not making art in Cambodia, New York artist William Graef works in his studio in Manhattan’ s East Village. He studied engineering at The University of Michigan and holds a fine art degree from Pratt institute. Since 1987, he has exhibited his work in and around New York City and was awarded fellowships at both MacDowell and Franconia and recently has been accepted in the Art In Embassy program where three of his sculptures are currently on display at the residence of the American Ambassador here in Phnom Penh. He has been reviewed in The New York Times and is in the collection of The New-York Historical Society. Graef’s work reflects and comments on contemporary life in our fast paced and ever changing world.