Art, Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Phnom Penh, Travel

Year 33: Darkness ends, art revives

Year 33

Several months ago when I was at my previous job at the magazine, I connected with Kathryn, a key player and piece of the team of directors and producers of Year 33 to do a piece on the feature length documentary. A co-founder and producer for Sueno Documentary Films alongside Co-founder Janna Watkins, both on the Selection Committee of the Cambodia Town Film Festival, we have managed to stay in touch from LA to Phnom Penh and with building excitement, share our projects. Without further adieu:

Year 33 that is now coming into existence through Kickstarter!

Following the lives of three young Khmer artists Narim, Vanny, and Viet- all with varied skills and talents- the Year 33 team produced a film that captures what the Khmer Rouge were unable to take away from this generation: art, stories, and the passion for creation.

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Art, Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

Repost: Natalie Polson, Khmer American, returns to her roots to unveil SEEN.


This article was featured on Anvaya, a network that aims to:

  1. Gather all the returnees within a social and professional effective network
  2. Support and welcome the Overseas Cambodians in their efforts to return
  3. Inform the Overseas Cambodians on business, social and employment opportunities in Cambodia
  4. Develop opportunities for Overseas Cambodians to return from abroad, especially young professionals
  5. Develop links between Cambodia and its diaspora

“When first meeting Natalie Polson, one senses a feeling of strength and passion underneath her calm, quiet, and seemingly shy exterior. When Natalie and I first began our partnership in March of this year, we both entered into it knowing little about each other except from that personal blogs, scattered emails, and a few meetings. Over time, a bond and friendship based on values, dreams, and hopes developed- the idea that the beauty, history, and intricacies of Cambodia’s arts can be shared with those around us and beyond. Now have worked together for roughly ten months- our insights, about Cambodia and each other have only grown- and I had a chance to sit down with Natalie for a brief yet intriguing chapter by chapter walk through her history, both in and away from Cambodia.

Natalie first ventured to the Kingdom of Wonder in 2002 while vacationing with family.  Her initial impressions of Phnom Penh was that of alluring exoticism, foreignness, and feeling a certain sense of inaccessibility to the surroundings and people due to the language gap. Natalie reminisces, “At the time, Cambodia felt very much like a movie set. It felt like a dream…surreal. It’s like I was a member of an audience, invited to come onto the stage and explore the scene.” The landscape at times, reminded her of the kind of setting that Gaugin would have captured in his paintings, that of a bright red ochre dust that settled on the countryside, the saffron coloration of the monks robes contrasted with the deep emerald hues of forested canopies.”

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Art, Cambodia, Expat, Food, Music, Phnom Penh, Travel

SEEN: The Kickstarter


And off we go! We’re launching SEEN- find out how you can be a part of making this happen, share this link & spread the word. Words can’t describe how we’re feeling about this project right now- but soon they will.

Visit our Kickstarter page for the full story.


Art, Cambodia, Expat, Food, Phnom Penh, Travel

Sharing “a.hä”

Photo Credit: Nataly Lee

Photo Credit: Nataly Lee

The times are few nowadays when I can or want to sit down and look at the same photos repeatedly- especially if they’re of places, people, or things I see recurring in my day to day.

I do cherish going through old photos of friends and family, I always have. As a little girl and to this day, would sit with the thickly bound photo albums my mother so carefully crafted and kept throughout my sister and my childhoods to reminisce and create stories and simply be back in each moment, whether in Albania with my skinny cat, gathering sticks at the Oregon Coast, or placing a set of Minnie Mouse ears atop my dad’s head.

A few years ago, I was a tumblr fanatic- looking, posting, reblogging, looking more- into the wee hours of the morning. Now, I prefer to scribble and plan and write and sleep. However, when Nataly Lee launched her photo blog today- I was enthralled by the stories she managed to tell through the lens. She brought the viewer in, and wouldn’t let them go. Each detail, each soft nuance- makes me want to go back and look one more time…just in case I missed anything.

Visit her page, a.hä! for whimsical yet rich photos, bound to pull you in to a world you may just have skipped over.

Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Travel

Off The Wall. March 25, 2013.

Twenty six artists were asked to create a piece of artwork with a skateboard deck as the canvas embodying their childhoods. I was happy to visit the Teo + Namfah gallery on the exhibition’s opening night to view some whimsical and interesting pieces at Off The Wall. Thanks to curator, Nataly Lee, for heading up such a fantastic concept for artists in Cambodia.  These are a few of my personal favorites.

Teo+Namfah Gallery at #21 Street 214.

All skateboards will be sold at a silent auction which ends March 31.

Reserve price is $100 per skateboard.


Cambodia, Fashion, Food, Phnom Penh, Travel

Photo Roll #2