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Reality Clashes with Illusion at Java Gallery

By: totallyrandomman Posted: January-06-2012 in

The two new exhibitions opening on the 10th of January at Java Café and Gallery both explore the contrast between the perceived or expected and darker, more uncertain, underlying realities.

For example, one of the paintings in Ben Thynal’s collection “My Selfish Family”, depicts a tightly wound group of people trapped in a circular formation—their smiling faces purposely misleading when paired with the title “Monster Family.”

Thynal uses the code or metaphor of the family to explore the selfishness of human relationships, from the personal to the political, the familial to the religious
Part of a new generation of outspokenly critical artists, he has explored several themes that are socially-focused including landmines, the environment and the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge. The cartoon-like forms he creates jar strikingly with the menacing subject matter, expressive of the contradiction between outward appearance and inner nature.

Thynal works as an art teacher at Mith Samlanh, one of the leading NGOs working with vulnerable youth and their communities. He graduated from Phare Ponleu Selpak (Battambang) in 2006 and his work has been exhibited in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This will be his second solo show.

Irish Sculptor Sallyanne Morgan’s meditative, life-size, sculptures explore this tension between the perceived and the real, combining an observation of current lives and past traditions with an underlying uncertainty for what may yet come.

In the exhibition there are three different series, all of them with a polished white surface. One features the life-like figures of a woman, a child and a man, each with protective tattoos engraved on them, offering a more literal and private narrative. The second series shows abstracted female torsos with a moving sphere in the middle that suggests a deeper more internal conversation. Finally, the third series of small figures balancing in various positions around a central rod, a metaphoric gesture about adaptation to change.

Sallyanne Morgan studied sculpture at Colaiste Conghaile in Dublin in 1995. She exhibited in Dublin and Cork and worked as a Community Artist around the country. This is her first exhibition in Cambodia.

This is part of the regular series of exhibitions, launching two at time every 6-7 weeks at Java Café & Gallery. Since 2000, this not-for-profit platform form contemporary visual arts in Cambadia, has hosted over 100 exhibitions and performances, including international collaborations and forums.

Ben Thynal’s “My Selfish Family” and Sallyanne Morgan’s “The Illusion of Permanence” open at Java Gallery and Café (56 Sihanouk Bvd.) on the 10th of January from 6pm til 9pm and run until the 19th of February with viewing hours every day from 7am – 10pm.


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