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. That’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!
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!