Colors are flying through the air, covering the bodies of young artists as they dance across the canvas, listening to 60s Cambodian rock ‘n’ roll. Are we dreaming? What on earth is going on?
Well, it’s not a scene out of some crazy movie or a dreamland. In fact, it’s just another adventurous day at Phare Ponleu Selpak. The year 1 students from our vocational training at VAAS put on a live painting show inspired by Jackson Pollock. This February, the students in the first year of the vocational training, under the direction of their teacher and one of our founders, Srey Bandaul, put on a beautiful live painting show in the courtyard at VAAS.
The students tried to capture the emotion of the 60s era Cambodian rock music by making a full performance out of the live painting experiment. Tarps were strewn across the grass, and students used all manner of materials to make their creations. Paintbrushes, leaves, shoes, even hands and feet were used to spread the colorful pigments.
The students were divided into four groups to make this show. Each group worked together across two large canvases to produce these modern works of art.
And the canvases weren’t the only receivers of paint. Students painted themselves and their classmates throughout the performances. By the end of the show, the whole of the VAAS courtyard was a riot of color! Students were covered in oranges, greens, and blacks. And as the show wrapped up, they chased each other around, continuing to pose for the cameras and smear paint all over their friends.
Visitors to the campus can see these modern works of art hanging up in the VAAS courtyard for a limited time only. From a sparse minimalist interpretation, to a heavy handed modern painting that is almost black from so much mixing, the students took the inspiration of Jackson Pollock and made it something uniquely their own.
If you would like to support Cambodian youth in their dreams to become artists, please consider making a donation to Phare Ponleu Selpak.