Aiming to provide a platform for local artist to share their experience, skills and talent, Khmer Art Connections is a Social Enterprise offering interactive arts and crafts classes for locals and visitors to Siem Reap.
Founder and director Samnieng Roun is very excited as he tells us how the initial idea was to connect talented and promising local artists with local people and visitors interested in traditional arts and crafts, as well as different painting, wood carving and iron sketching techniques.
Authentic Khmer arts and crafts
‘By connecting local artists and visitors,’ Samnieng explains, ‘we wanted to provide a platform for preservation and sustainable development of authentic Khmer arts and crafts techniques, and provide an environment for a sustainable development of art in Cambodia.’
People travelling to Siem Reap and Cambodia are increasingly expressing more interest for local and meaningful experiences. People want to get involved, and there is also an increasing trend that people want to learn more about the places they are visiting. Samnieng and his team of local artists offer dedicated, but informal arts and crafts classes in a traditional environment. There are regular classes for beginners and for those more experienced. One-to-one sessions for professionals can be tailored to fit most itineraries. Small class sizes ensure the arts and craft teachers will have sufficient time for each student and, whilst most of the teachers speak fairly good English, an English translator is always short at hand.
Currently, there are regular classes in wood carving, spoon painting and iron fire sketching. We’re amazed by the skills and talent of the arts and crafts teachers at work, and the amount of details that go into their finished products. Therefore, a day at Khmer Arts Connection is not only great fun and a great learning experience, it really makes us appreciate the talent and efforts put into the many locally made souvenirs that can be bought at the various markets in Siem Reap and across Cambodia.
Khmer Art Connections is a Social Enterprise offering interactive arts and crafts classes for locals and visitors to Siem Reap, Cambodia. For more information about various courses and classes in Spoon Painting, Wood Carving or Iron Fire Sketching, please visit their website and contact us for group bookings and tailor-made itineraries.
Just over ten years ago, we first met Billy Gorter, Founder and Executive Director of This Life Cambodia (TLC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We still remember his excitement and enthusiasm when he first told us about how he was approached by members of a community just outside the centre of Siem Reap who had big dreams of starting a community centre in their village. Continue Reading →
I held fond memories of my travels through South East Asia. The grind of city living and 9-5 was taking it’s toll on my natural state of wanderlust. I wanted to explore, adventure, learn – and throw myself in the deep end of a wild experience. My teenage dream to live and work in a developing country was still in the forefront of my mind. As a strong willed young woman, I knew I would see my dream into fruition – I just hadn’t worked out how to yet.
Flat on my back, I lay there, in the darkness, looking up on what reminded me of a bridal veil just about a meter above my head. It was slightly lit up by the bright light bulb on the outside. Bugs were dancing in the beam of light. Dogs were barking in the distance. A noisy motor boat was passing by, and seconds later the small, rapid waves hit the platform. I could hear the wings of insects that were swirling around. My nose was filled by the smell of my own sweat and mosquito repellent. Continue Reading →
In 2009 I found myself being made redundant twice in the course of six months due to the recession in the UK. Taking what little savings I had, I hopped on a plane and started working my way around the world, working and volunteering as I went along. I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand, Australia, Japan, before landing in South East Asia. After travelling by road through Vietnam, I found myself in the beauty of Cambodia, and I fell in love with the people and the country instantly.
I was looking forward to our trip to Mondulkiri. I had heard a lot about the forests, the waterfalls and the wildlife – even the thrill of possibly meeting a tiger! We were heading for Sen Monorom, known as the final frontier before the wilderness of forest and rivers stretching beyond the eastern border with Vietnam and the border with Ratanakiri Province to the north. It was in Sen Monorom that we would stock up with supplies for the ranger camp and the final bits and pieces we would need to carry in our own packs.
I have only been in Cambodia for 3 months but from the beginning I have been continually intrigued and drawn to the amazing businesses, organisations and individuals doing amazing work in the country.
Cambodia has the second largest number of NGOs in the world, coming in only after Rwanda. That’s not even including the many social enterprises and increasingly responsibly minded businesses operating here which are all part of a huge community dedicating their time to growing and improving Cambodia’s future.
Siem Reap, Cambodia, has been my home for the past seven years. It is a country of contrasts and smiles. The town is booming thanks to the increase in tourism; tour buses and 4x4s are everywhere. Very different from seven years ago when the only cars were taxis doing the Phnom Penh run or World Food Programme 4x4s. But step back from the main tourist area and visit villages where bicycles and motorbikes are the main form of transport and experience how many Cambodians continue to live a life that has changed little in hundreds of years.
I have spent a fair amount of time in SE Asia over the years and relish in discovering new places and meeting new people. The experiences you have in destinations like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand can not be replicated anywhere and I have some incredible memories.
It’s January 2006, two backpackers who met working at one of London’s finest hotels, are on the road again after experiencing the poverty on the streets of Phnom Penh, the harrowing stories of Toul Sleng and the haunting recollections of the Killing Fields. The bus driver, who sits behind a broken windscreen, drives recklessly along the long winding Route 6 bumping pot hole after pot hole to Siem Reap.