Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Continuing a quest to explore the self




Continuing a quest to explore the self

In paintings such as Rose Cigarette, Heng Ravuth has abandoned physical collage. Photo supplied
In paintings such as Rose Cigarette, Heng Ravuth has abandoned physical collage. Photo supplied

Continuing a quest to explore the self

A little more than a year after his last exhibit, Cambodian artist Heng Ravuth is back with a new show at Java Café and Gallery. While still using his naked self as the subject, instead of creating actual collages with photographic fragments on canvases, he has begun to give the impression of collage through brushwork only.

“Now I just do the collage in Photoshop [first], and then use only acrylic paint on the canvas,” said Ravuth, 31. “I wanted to do something interesting and challenge myself to get better and better . . . to use more colour and more detail, and to make it technically as creative as I can.”

Ravuth added that moving away from including physical photographs in the artworks gave him the freedom to create his own distorted reality that he describes as “twisted and offbeat”. It also made his work more contemporary, he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Artist Heng Ravuth paints nude self-portraits. Athena Zelandonii

The nine pieces in the current exhibit, titled Drunk Nude, show Ravuth in a variety of scenarios – from lounging solo to multiple impressions of him amid tyres or while attending a picnic. He starts with photographs of himself, then adds snippets from other images and “collides them together” on his computer before recreating the final product with paint on canvas.

Skin-toned hues mixed with vivid colours and white tones to represent the rips of piecing together multiple elements achieve a layered look in the paintings.

The show’s title is a reference to Ravuth’s obsession with his desire to explore who he is as an individual and an artist through his ongoing nude self-portraits. His previous two exhibits, Innermost (I) and Innermost (II), also were self-nudes.

“It’s like an alcoholic or a drug user. When you’re obsessed with something, you do it every day. It’s a habit,” he said.

Drunk Nude will be on display at the Java Café and Gallery, #56 Sihanouk Boulevard, from July 27 through September 30. The opening reception is July 27 at 6:30pm.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15