Obsessed: Street Art in Phnom Penh.

 

Boeng Kak Lake used to be a beautiful fishing village place in the heart of Phnom Penh. I’ve come to know about this because I often cross the area during my ride to the old office. It was then that the tuk tuk driver told me how the lake was bought by a foreign investor for the purpose of development. During that time, a lot of local villagers lost their homes and became misplaced.

Years went by and people are still living in this area, cleaning up what was left from the development.┬áThat’s when a group of artists decided to help by putting their touch on the walls in the area, uplifting it to be beautiful pieces of mural art. They’ve also started teaching the kids how to make art and taught them how to make a garden. These small efforts gives a more positive tone to what looks like a dilapidated area in the city.

These mural pieces can be seen on Street 93 of Boeng Kak Lake which we missed the last time we were in the area. If you plan to have a look at the arts, you can ask the tuk tuk to bring you to the big Mosque in Calamette and then make a left at the end of the road. Straight ahead is where you’ll see the start of the murals and the DBK or Development Boeng Kak centre (which was also closed at the time).

One of the Malaysian artist who is currently residing in Phnom Penh, has two of his art on the walls in Street 93. He is currently active in the local arts community and teaching them art whenever he can. Here are some of the photos that I took while we were there. Get your eyes ready for some art stimulation!

Fish lips on an alley wall in Street 93.

Fish lips on an alley wall in Street 93.

A long mural seen behind Simon Bistro.

A long mural seen behind Simone Art. The painting on the wall of Simone Art was done by StinkFish.

This was one of my favorite murals of A, B, C, with animals.

This was one of my favorite murals of A, B, C, with animals.

The beauty is in the details.

The beauty is in the details.

Graffiti and drawings on the walls by various artists.

Graffiti and drawings on the walls by various artists.

This mural was done by Malaysian artist, Syah who is currently taking a break from traveling the world.

This mural was done by Malaysian artist, Syah who is currently taking a break from traveling the world.

I detect a local flavour in this mural.

I detect a local flavour in this mural.

There's something about a mural drawn on old buildings that makes it pop out like a sore thumb in a nice way.

There’s something about a mural drawn on old buildings that makes it pop out like a sore thumb in a nice way.

Even the brick walls are given some colors.

Even the brick walls are given some colors.

On this particular wall are drawings from travelers around the world.

On this particular wall are drawings from travelers around the world.

A young boy seen on the wall of DBK or Develop Boeng Kak Art Centre.

A young boy seen on the wall of DBK or Develop Boeung Kak Art Centre.

Retro mural near Simone Bistro.

Retro mural near Simone Bistro.

An artist named Alias had also left his painting here (bottom left).

An artist named Alias had also left his painting here (bottom left).

Statements such as this can be seen in Street 93.

Statements such as this can be seen in Street 93.

Although the area needs more cleaning up, these murals somehow makes the area more pleasant and hopefully more people will visit, to share the same awareness. I for one, was quite surprised that these art murals can be seen in the city. To be honest, I was looking out for it since I arrived last year but was told by the locals that such things can’t be done on the walls inside the city.

There’s hope for more art pieces to be seen in Phnom Penh as the French Institute will be hosting another round of art even for the community, called Cambodia Urban Art Festival which opens on 23 April 2015. There will be art murals placed around the city for the first time by Cambodian artists such as Pheap Tarr (Kiwi-Cambodian) & Lisa Mam (Cambodian), Tones (Swiss-Cambodian), Venk (U.K), Kimchean Koy (Cambodian), Eltono (France), David Myers (Cambodian).

For more info on street arts around Phnom Penh, check-out the links below:

I can’t wait to attend the opening of the festival and I’m curious to see what they’re going to paint on the wall in our neighborhood. So far, they’ve splashed bright green paint as the background and there’s yellow art designs on them. It should emerge nicely within the next few days!

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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