‘An Artist’s Rain’: A Live Painting Spectacular

5DKS8328Live painting is organic, unpredictable and extraordinarily exciting. Not even the artists know where the tale will travel. So we’ve teamed up with Little Red Fox Espresso to bring the excitement of live painting to the streets of Siem Reap. Five Phare visual artists, Rithy Sin, Sokhom Roeun, Long Kosal, Robit Pen and Nov Cheanick, will  perform in Kandal Village from 5-7pm on June 17th as part of SESSIONS at Little Red Fox present: ‘An Artist’s Rain’: A Live Painting Spectacular. Each artist will start with a blank canvas and spontaneously create unique paintings over the course of the evening.


There’s a long tradition of live painting in Battambang, where Phare Ponleu Selpak school is located. Students and graduates of Phare’s Visual and Applied Arts School enjoy experimenting with different artistic mediums, melding visual art with performance art in events like ‘Storm the Street’.

In Siem Reap, however, Phare is best known for its nightly circus show. While visual artists play a big role- there’s a live painter in the show “Sokha”, and many of the sets are designed and painted by Phare visual arts students and graduates- they don’t often take center stage. So we’re happy to shine the spotlight on some of these talented young contemporary visual artists.

This type of event also feeds the growing interest in contemporary art in Siem Reap.

Little Red Fox Espresso, a cafe located in Kandal Village (recently named “Siem Reap’s hippest new ‘hood” by the New York Times), is part of the city’s growing cultural scene. They host a monthly cultural series called “SESSIONS at Little Red Fox”.

The first SESSIONS featured the founder of the Cambodian Rock & Roll Music Archive, Oum Rotanak Oudom (Aka DJ ORO), playing original vinyl from the Golden Era. This coincided with the opening of The Constable Gallery. The second SESSIONS event, called “Motown to Mekong – Music Forum”, brought together HE Touch Tana (Drakka Band), Jim Diamond (Detroit producer of The White Stripes, The Sonics, The Dirt Bombs), Kak Channthy (Singer Songwriter, The Cambodian Space Project, Astronomy Class), and Em Vun (Messenger Band) to discuss the cultural impacts of the Global Sixties and the Vietnam War and how these events shaped the lives and sounds of Cambodia’s Golden Era artists. These free events have been very popular, drawing large crowds that spill out of the cafe and into the streets. Neighboring businesses have also been supportive and have stayed open late, turning the events in block parties.

The upcoming SESSIONS, the third in the series, will be a little different. It will be less focused on music and more on visual and performance art. But the enthusiasm for Cambodian art and the energy of a street party will be the same.

Nov Cheanick_ Live Painting in Taiwan

Artist Robit Pen after a live painting event in Taiwan.

The Phare visual artists are looking forward to it. Says Sokhom Roeun, “I think I probably like live painting even more than painting in my studio. Studio painting is for exhibition..in the studio you think about selling, exhibiting and success. Live painting is about sharing. I can show people what it is to paint, I can do many different techniques and I only think about expressing my creativity and my emotions.”

‘An Artist’s Rain’: A Live Painting Spectacular. Friday, June 17 from 5-7pm in Kandal Village, Siem Reap. The event is free and open to anyone. More info on the Facebook event page.

All creations by the artists will be for sale after the show.


Read more about the artists here.

Read more about the Visual and Applied Arts School at Phare Ponleu Selpak.