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An exhibition of contrasts

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Photo: Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan
Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan

My City is a painting and photography exhibition by Rena Chheang and Miguel Jeronimo.

Chheang’s paintings investigate the multitude of lives in a Cambodian city, the conditions of its inhabitants and their different and highly individual paths to development and happiness.

With stories of Buddhist monks, street kids or survivors of the Khmer Rouge, her paintings aim to be a visual poetry about Cambodian society – a storytelling tool for a country in its process of growing up.

Survival and luxury, struggling and thriving, Cambodia, and especially Phnom Penh, is a land filled with contrasts.

Jeronimo makes photographs of high-end buildings at the construction phase (or newly built infrastructures) that collide with portraits of informal workers.

These informal workers are the most iconic members of the Khmer street landscape: trash collectors and squatters, street sellers and factory workers, street kids and fishermen, tuk-tuk drivers and working children.

The color differences and unexpected juxtapositions become a visual representation of the gap between these two realities – a reflection on privilege and inequality, the portrayal of economic development and those who are being left behind by it.

The exhibition is currently on at Cloud in Street 9, Phnom Penh.

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