Opening 6pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Java Café, upstairs
Rain is new series of work by emerging artist Nov Cheanick. In this series, Nov, uses rain as a metaphor for sorrow and trauma that has led to apathy and lethargy. Nov says that this is especially apparent in the countryside where famers and other laborers have limited activity during the rainy season, and in quiet resignation do nothing. In the highly textured paintings, figures are seen sitting, waiting, partly revealed under the paint splatter of rain while in others the landscape is drenched into obscurity. On smaller canvases there is the suggestion of clarity with the portrait of a mysterious man emerging from a dark background or disappearing into a lighter one. Nov says “I don’t want to read anymore books of suffering that people have wrote. Write a new page of happiness; find peace in the dirty place with a dirty life.” In this poetic, introspective work, he calls for action—not the storm-the streets kind of action, but the kind of action that transforms the spirit.
NOV Cheanick (b. 1989) was educated in the arts at Phare Ponleu Selpak, Battambang, where he continues to live and work. His sculptures and paintings are often on themes of nature vs. man as well as man’s struggle with his own nature. He is probably most known for a sculpture of a life-size green cow installed at the International Airport of Phnom Penh. He has been featured in several group exhibitions including the milestone show Made in Battambang (Institut Français Cambodge, Phnom Penh, 2014), Memory Workshop (New York City, 2013; Lyon, 2010; Phnom Penh, 2010) and Four Rising Talents From Southeast Asia (10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, 2012). Nov has also had two other solo shows Freedom with Brooms (Romeet Gallery, Phnom Penh, 2012) and Farmer’s Portraits (Sa Sa Art Gallery, Phnom Penh, 2010).