The Siem Reap hotel has added a permanent space for showcasing pieces from a locally based painter.
Centered on a restored 1960s riverside villa that first housed the French colonial governor and then Siem Reap’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club, FCC Angkor by Avani deftly mixes the old and new. Now, the boutique property is raising its game on the cultural front with the launch of the first solo gallery by a sought-after Belgian contemporary artist. Opening this Wednesday (November 30), it will be dedicated to Christian Develter, who is known for producing vibrant, eye-popping portraits inspired by Asian cultures and the people he met over years of travel around the region.
The space will house his signature works, including oil paintings, limited-edition lithographs, and fashion items. Notably, Develter’s latest Mara Sculpture Collection will be shown for the very first time. These artworks build on the earlier Chin Series, which depicts the intricately tattooed faces of western Myanmar’s Chin women in a series of imposing busts. Mara was created during the pandemic by a team of Khmer stone carvers, who worked closely with Develter to execute his vision in pink, blue, and gray textured sandstone. These materials were ethically sourced from the mountains of northern Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province.
Commenting on the debut of the gallery, Develter said the new space was intended as a “love letter” to his adopted home of Siem Reap. “It is my way of giving back to Southeast Asia and repaying this vast continent, with its diverse cultural heritage and artistic influences, for the boundless inspiration it has given for almost three decades.”