Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Teuk Khmean Charon or STILL WATER Art Exhibition at Bophanna Center, Phnom Penh, April 3-30, 2009

All artists and organizers participated in the opening day on Friday, April 3, 2009 at Bophanna center.

Memories of Boeung Kak Lake

I. Photos of the East part of Boeung Kak lake

(A) East shore of Boeung Kak lake. April 14, 1990. (1) Sambath Thida Naly (left) and Tong Soprach (right), were Grade 10 classmates at Bak Touk High School in Phnom Penh, and are standing south of the Mosque next to the lake. Soprach was 14 years old; it was Khmer New Year. (2) The two French Tamarind trees were in a small zoo. (3) Boeung Kak lake villagers’ houses behind the Ministry of Information. The photo was taken from the north looking to the south-east.
(B) From the Mosque (C) From the lake. (B) & (C) The photos are of the same part of Boeung Kak Lake area (A) taken on March 23, 2009. (1) Where Naly and Soprach stood. (2) The two French Tamarind trees are now within the Mosque grounds; behind the Phnom Penh hotel. (3) Beung Kak villagers’ houses and guest houses popular with backpackers; located behind the Ministry of Information.

II. My Impression Of Boeung Kak Lake

Tong Soprach was born in 1976. After 20 years spent going to Boeung Kak lake, I’m taking time to remember what I have seen and done there. The Boeung Kak lake tourist resort was very popular for Phnom Penhiens in late 1980s and early 1990s. The site included a big space for concerts to the North, a few big parks for relaxing, places for children to play, two roped bamboo bridges over streams for ease of walking. On the site where the mosque is now, there was a big restaurant and night club; also nearby was a small zoo, which was located directly behind the Phnom Penh hotel, has disappeared. There were many benches along the lakeshore and in the parks, and small pedal boats in the lake were available for rent. Many of the kids at my high school often went there on our bicycles when we had no classes and at weekends. We liked to drive the pedal boats around the lake, going out to a small island in the middle of the lake where we spent time swimming and relaxing.

After watching many public spaces and parks being sold in Phnom Penh, we hope that Boeung Kak lake will still be a great place to relax and have fun for the general population. Although the lake has already been sold and filling is well underway, I still would love to see Boeung Kak lake kept as a natural resort. It also prevents the city flooding.

Tong Soprach, MPH
Public Health Freelance Consultant
Phnom Penh, April 3, 2009

Social artist Soprach and his friends at the opening day and my photographs at Beoung Kak lack in 1990 and in 2009 is behind.

A man was reading my memories of BKK lake text at the opening day.

The man lives at BKK lake nearly 20 years. He explained me the history of the lake.

Social artist Soprach and BKK lake villagers at the opening day.

The BKK lake villagers were looking my photos to remember their houses where located under the two French Tamarind trees. They told me that their tears would fall down after reading my last paragraph of my memories of Boeung Kak lake (in Khmer version) at the opening day.

This BKK lake villager shown in my photographs where she lives. Now she worried about her house which will be removed soon, with small compensation.

Audiences ware interested in my photographs and my memories of BKK lake at the opening day.

Naly and Social Artist Soprach missing 15 years ago. We tried to do the same postion of standing when we were at Boeung Kak Lake photo in April 1990, we were at Bak Touk High School.

Naly and Social Artist Soprach

Social Artist Soprach with missing 15-years friend Naly and his family

Artist Seckon explained his audiences

Artist Seckon's painting picures

Artist Vichet's sculpture

Artist Sothy's painting picture

Artist Veasna with her disign

Artist Kanitha explaine her audience at opening day, Friday, April 3, 2009

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