DECEMBER 21, 2019 – FEBRUARY 29, 2020
Batia Sarem Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of artist Theanly Chov in Siem Reap. We are showing about fifteen oils on canvases, painted between 2017 and 2019, mostly from his series Surviving. Theanly paints individuals from across all sections of Cambodian society. Unknown or familiar, friends or people he has simply passed by in the street, these models are chosen for their aesthetic and representative potential. Theanly always seeks to retell – pictorially – their personal stories. The characters usually adopt the same pose. Their heads are raised, as if they were preparing to take off. They are often painted on a two-coloured background, the two shades forming a demarcation line which passes just above the mouth of the character. The figures in the series Surviving can also be seen as trying to keep their heads above the water.
Beyond their apparent simplicity, his paintings reveal a thought-provoking depth which, we believe, is one of the secrets behind the appeal of Theanly Chov’s work. He draws personal stories to tell about a country in mutation. He manages to communicate a deeply pictorial vision – sensitive and palpable – on the theme of individual fulfillment. His talent, accessible to viewers from different backgrounds, allows everyone to recognize their own failures and successes. The team at Batia Sarem is particularly pleased to be showing works by this universally approachable artist in Siem Reap, just as our gallery celebrates its first year. We are confident that every visitor to the exhibition will develop their own interpretation of this body of work, which is both complex and captivating.
Yves Zlotowski, Lyvann Loeuk and Martin Phéline.
Theanly Chov was born in the Battambang Province of Cambodia in 1985. He has worked in Phnom Penh as a graphic designer then he moved to Battambang in 2011 to focus on his artistic work. He has been living in Phnom Penh since 2018 to settle in a bigger place to paint.
His paintings have been exhibited on many occasions. He has several solo shows in Java Art gallery in Phnom Penh (the latest in November 2016). He also exhibited in the US and in Singapore. He has been one of the leading artists of two major group shows: Phnom-Penh at the Musée de l’Hospice-Comtesse in Lille, France (September 2015 – January 2016) and Cambodia: Looking back at the Future at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, United States in May-June 2017. He had a solo show at Galerie Lee in Paris in October 2017. His paintings are part of major collections such as the one of the Cambodian artist Sopheap Picand of the Sunpride Foundation based in Hong Kong.
B A T I A S A R E M G A L L E R Y | Bamboo Street, Wat Damnak, Sala Kamreuk | Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia