Launched last Sunday at the Factory Phnom Penh, Ms Keosocheat’s exhibition, the “Eyes of Mercy,” features 29 original artworks that showcase her own cats.
Talking about how the exhibit came to be, Ms Keosocheat said: “I met the organiser and showed her photos of my paintings saved on my phone. She immediately agreed to display my art pieces at Kbach gallery.”
The organiser, said Ms Keosocheat, complimented the uniqueness and creativity exhibited in her work, saying no other artist had done a similar style before.
“She thought my paintings can help further promote Cambodian arts,” said the Kampot-born artist.
New to holding her own exhibition, Ms Keosocheat took a year to craft her paintings. She did thorough research by visiting many galleries and spent hours exploring and developing the “soul” of her paintings, carefully embedding her passion for animals and their welfare in the pieces.
She said: “All my paintings revolve around cats. My love for them grew from the very first time a pregnant cat wandered into my house and stayed with me as she gave birth to four kittens just a few days after. Since then, I’ve thought that valuing one life can affect and touch so much more without you even realising it.”
With cats being the subject of her exhibition, she also used the platform to send a message to those who discriminate against the endearing felines.
Some owners, she noted, would wrongly blame their cats for their respiratory illnesses, deliberately ignoring the fact that they are heavy smokers. Therefore, Ms Keosocheat relegated two of her 29 pieces to call out such owners and advocate for responsible cat ownership.
“All these diseases [respiratory illnesses] are not acquired from cats. People cause their own misery but shift the blame to innocent animals,” she said, adding that cats deserve mercy as echoed by the name of her exhibition.
Asked about her future plans, Ms Keosocheat expressed her wish to continue making artworks which cover various topics, especially those that are close to her heart.
The exhibition, which will run for a whole month, provides ample time for art enthusiasts to head on over to the venue and admire the artist’s creations.