The new exhibition of Theam will run from February to April 2019 at the Gallery of Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.
Born in Takeo Province, southern Cambodia, Theam LIM was a nine-year-old boy when the Khmer Rouge regime fell in 1978. Forced to flee their war-torn homeland, his family arrived in France as refugees in 1980.
Theam immersed himself in the French artistic education system and shortly after graduating from the excellent Fine Art School and the Ecole Boule in Paris, Theam returned to his native Cambodia to reunite with those he had left behind. He is one of the few returnee Cambodians currently involved in helping revive the Cambodian craft sector, and has been enthusiastically doing so since 1995 by teaching teams of young apprentices from the countryside how to use traditional Khmer craftsmanship.
Inspired by the religious murals of Cambodia’s majestic pagodas, along with the technique of polychrome and lacquer-ware, in his series "Khmer People", Theam expresses his perception of a reality where peculiarity and beauty combine seamlessly.
We are invited to witness a series of intimate visual essays on the blurred ambiguity between "reality" and those considered ‘abstract’. The figures that play such a strong role in Theam’s paintings set a curious scene in which confusion and ambivalence reign. Theam’s creative process includes polychrome images with successive layers of paint, enhanced by scratched effects.
The composition of fine layers of strong acrylic colors creates a rich thickness which is then softened by meticulous sandpapering. Theam plays a ceaseless game of addition and subtraction with his materials, discovering new and fascinating effects.
"Rénovation de la Galerie du SOFITEL PP avec ouverture de l'Exposition SONGES des oeuvres de THEAM" !