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.
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