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Tag Archives: French Siem Reap

Siem Reap galleries

21 Mar

If you have a bit of time during your Siem Reap stay to do a day or two of galleries, you’ll be in for a treat.

Angkor Artwork is owned by a French couple Thierry & Eric Stocker who specialize in lacquer. Hailing from France, they’ve also lived and worked in Japan and have gained skills to educate the local Khmer people of a craft of lacquer, that died during the Pol Pot regime. Both gentlemen were up for a chat and the gallery and gardens are a lovely space.

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While you’re in this neighborhood, depending on time, either walk or get your tuk-tuk driver to go around the corner to Sombai Cambodian liqueur workshop. While not a gallery, you have to pop in to sample amazing liqueurs, jams and see artists painting the gorgeous bottles. Lovely Sok Ny took me through the very small distillery space then we went downstairs to tasting. I could have tasted every product, but if you’re short on time, they have a tasting stand at the Angkor Night Markets Gate B.

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On the way out to Angkor Wat, there are large tourist galleries galore along Charles du Galle Rd… but I wanted a little more authentic, so I went to the small ones, mostly with workshops that you were guided through.

Theam’s House is a lovely story. And one of my favourite galleries. Originally a refugee during the recent Pol Pot horrible years, Theam’s family were relocated to France. Once things settled back in his homeland, he moved back to restore the art culture.

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His home and gardens (he’s been back 20 years) are beautiful and he travelled throughout Cambodia collecting amazing pieces that had not been destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. I didn’t take photos of everything, but you’ll get the full picture when you visit. I was also super impressed with his musical instruments collection (the picture above). You will be met at the entrance by a lovely staff member who will share with you the art, stories then take you through the workshop.

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He specializes in lacquer and his approach is different to the Angkor Art gentlemen. He has a large workshop that you walk through. He also has some wonderful paintings. You can see them below through the bells, and above in the picture with the beautiful carvings. All prices are in US$.

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My next stop was Javar and this was incredible. You would have no idea that the art is paper mache! Then you pick it up, and it’s light! But take cash, as they don’t have credit card facilities. You can see below how they look like stone, brass or pottery. It was my second last day, so my cash was gone!

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Then take yourself down a kilometer or so to a group of galleries right near Raffles Hotel. There was about 6 and I’d only read about one! Mixed galleries from amazing photographs from McDermott Gallery, to silk scarves, but also the wonderful Artisans d’Angkor larger shop (they have one near the main markets in town).

I also popped in to Mirage, 1 Eleven, The Village Cafe & Little Eating Street!

Of course if you are cruising around town, Kandal Village is a must. It is an oasis. Here is the link to their Facebook page. It is a few funky streets with amazing shops, incredible food and coffee and a bit less crazy than the central markets. You can even ask your took-tuk driver to wait for you, but I loved just wandering aimlessly around and finding little surprises. This photo is courtesy of Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, which is also an oasis.

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