This Saturday is the opening reception for "Embracing Cambodia: Yearning for Home" on August 13 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota UROC Gallery. This is a long-anticipated show that will be at 2001 Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis.
Khmer Minnesotan artist Phira Rehm has never seen Cambodia, but the beauty of its art, people, and folklore --as told to her by her parents- captivates her. Audience members are invited to come along she takes you on a journey to a different place. Not quite Cambodia, but not quite America. She will share her own work, her family’s collection of Cambodian paintings and temple figures, and her struggle to find understanding and place somewhere between two cultures. The show is for anyone who has ever yearned for home or returned to find that the place they left behind is not quite the one they remembered. The opening reception will feature art, live traditional Cambodian music, wonderful food and stimulating conversation.
Even if you can't make the opening, the show will continue at UROC through September 12, 2011.
I highly recommend it, because it's been a very long time since Minnesota has seen a Khmer American visual arts exhibit, specifically one that's conceived by an experienced Khmer American woman. Having seen examples of her work, I appreciate its mix of modernity with an unflinching eye on the traditional art and history of their community. I hope this is but the first of many such projects to emerge in Minnesota in the coming years ahead.