My first day in my first art residency.
I came at 3pm, and slept pretty well in the plane all along the 18 hours trip. I was lucky to meet a cool guy sitting next to me for the second part between Doha and Phnom Penh who made me laugh so much.
At 3pm local time, I got out of the plane. Full sunshine, 30 degrees and blue sky, this was it.
I tried to call Ludi and Marge but apparently the phone number was wrong. I calmly stood and looked for a Solution and read about international prefix. 15:15 i decided to get a cab.
Then I heard my name and Ludi and Marge were there.
We got to Boeng Kak, an area which is popular and yet devasted by some real estate lobby. Their friend Brian took us with his Tuk Tuk and rode us to the Lake, dried, now a plain hard ground, a crossroad to walk on between 2 parts of the city. Somehow my heart was sick of that. I did not mention anything and kept on talking about the plans, asking questions about where to find what. Inside, I was quiet and happy.
I got there and they showed me my room , actually in a colonial guesthouse, a top room just for myself with kingsize bed. Style and comfort. I actually did not expect so much. ludi said it was paid by her during my stay. This was to me a sign of respect and engagement towards what we spoke about on skype. Because you should know that Ludi contacted me to join Phnom Penh after she saw my work in Paris published on a website. We never met before but I could tell from that moment that she was reliable and that I was right to follow my gut, trusting a ' stranger ' .
Then I changed my jeans for shorts and got outside to discover the area , check the walls and talk about the organization of art and events which will happen during my stay.
The atmosphere was not quiet, and people in the area seemed quite unfamiliar with my presence. In their eyes it was said that they could tell I was a newcomer here.
I jumped in the tuktuk and got to the art supplies store. Once again, here it is difficult to find spraycans.
From my past experience in Hanoi, I knew it was better to check before hand on the web whether I could get delivered on-site.
No way, spraycans are considered explosive dangerous products and are not allowed to be imported.
I knew I would use the same stuff than in Hanoi: basic car spray paint with a limited amount of colours.
Flexibility: maybe it would be the moment to try brushes and liquid paint.
At the store I took all I needed.
I came back and we had the aperitif, the French tradition like English go to pubs :)
At Ludi and Marge, the space was open. No window, no limit. The large view over what used to be a lake was weird and inspiring at the same time. We started to cook, we were 10 with 2 locals , ludi, Marge , their friends visiting and I.
The long conversation was nice. The sun was already in bed since 6pm a bit later than in Vietnam, I thought.
I am looking forward to tomorrow morning with 2 pure sensations to rise when my eyes will open:
- at 5 am you can expect a penetrating daylight that wakes you up from your deepest dreams and is like an alarm that makes you get up with high determination to breathe according to the strength of that bright sunlight
- the moment you wake up and you don't know where you are , and realize you are there in an unknown place.
I am really tired now but I am really looking forward to tomorrow.
There's going to be a lot to do here for me, and a lot to experience.