Watching the sky through a bamboo sphere

“Changing our perception of the space by putting a transparent construction between us and the surrounding environment”.

From this idea, a huge bamboo sphere was built in our Visual and Applied Arts School. This project was initiated by Mr. Thierry Vandebroek, and the fact that it happened at Phare Ponleu Selpak was both a happy coincidence and a sign of destiny. From an early age, Thierry was interested in the arts, even though he never took the leap towards becoming an artist himself. He has been currently involved in sustainable development, as he created an association in Belgium, Poseco (Positive Economy) which promotes the idea that economic development must take environmental and social issues into account for a brighter future.

The next step was to figure out where to build his transparent and artistic natural construction that challenges and changes our perception of the space. Thierry knew that Cambodia was the perfect country, as a lot of bamboo grows here, and then he discovered the existence of Phare Ponleu Selpak. Building this sphere, on a campus such as ours, with bright young artists students, immediately made sense to him.

And in a 3-day workshop, the bamboo sphere was born!

“I feel really happy about the success of this project. I met open-minded people, with a lot of empathy and goodwill. Working with the students and teachers, watching them being more and more confident and involved was such a great experience. The first time I explained the project, some of the students were not sure they had the skills for that type of work. And we finally made it!”, explained Thierry.

Now the sphere is hanging in the Visual and Applied Arts School patio. Thanks to it, all the staff, teachers, and visitors are looking to the sky much more often than before.

And Thierry, back to his homeland, knows that the artwork he initiated is contemplated everyday in Cambodia!

Thierry Vandebroek