Moeng Meta, 31, is a freelance art director and assistant to internationally renowned Cambodian visual artist Sopheap Pich, while also working as a director of community projects at HIS HIS BASSAC. Despite her university training in business management, the field in which she works forces her to see everything through the eyes of an artist. This week she sat down with Rinith Taing and Anna koo to discuss the places most linked to his artistic sensibility.
Phat Paris hair salon near the Olympic stadium
This small hairdressing salon near Olympic Market [on Street 199, between Street 318 and 328] is the only place I go when I need a haircut. The owner is a Vietnamese but he is a very good hairdresser and he always cuts my hair himself. In fact, I would prefer to call him a “hairstylist” because of his complicated way of cutting hair. My hair is short, but it usually spends about an hour on it. He does his job with care, examining every little detail and making sure his clients return to his salon. Along with the stylish hairstyles, the salon has comfortable seating and free water, so I can wait patiently even when it’s crowded.
Metro Hassakan (formerly Metro Café)
It is the place where I can end my day in peace after long hours spent managing exhibitions and other art-related events. The Asian fusion gourmet restaurant is decorated with floor-to-ceiling bay windows and a wraparound patio that allows me to have a breathtaking view of the river and people’s everyday life, relaxing my eyes and mind while eating oysters and drinking the espresso martini, which is the best in town. Metro Hassakan is also my meeting place to connect with many new people from other fields than art. I feel like I still have problems communicating with people other than the ones I know, and talking with those people will help me improve [these skills] as well as to give me the chance to learn new things.
Java Café & Gallery
I often go to Java Café & Gallery with my friends, most of whom are artists. I really enjoy the iced latte and burger at this two story cafe on 274 Street, but the food and drink isn’t the only reason I find it so satisfying. The beautiful and unique works of art by a variety of artists on display in the cafe, combined with the western-style tables and chairs, make it one of the most attractive destinations for art lovers. I’m also excited to know that 10 percent of the proceeds will go to fund Java arts, a project to promote Cambodian art. Having been working in this field for quite a long time, I understand that Cambodian artists are struggling financially, and Java Arts could be an effective way to support their passions.
My place (Konleng Knhom)
I realize that one of the problems encountered by artists is the lack of workspaces, and that is why I have always wanted to create a place that allows them to work in peace and to meet other artists. This month, I finally realized my dream with the creation of My Place or Konleng Knhom. It’s just a small rented two-story house near the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, but I hope it will be a significant contribution to the art. As the name suggests, I want everyone to think of My Place as their own. There is enough space for them to work or hold artist conferences. I put my collection of artwork in My Place, which could inspire their work. They will also have the opportunity to taste my collection of imported teas and coffees.
Sky Bar at the Aquarius & Urban Resort
For me, there is no better place to get a full view of the city’s nightlife, which has inspired many artists, than the rooftop bar of Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort. Loving the peace and quiet, I sometimes go alone. However, what I really like about this place is that I can sit and talk with a few friends while eating salad and get a glimpse of the development of the city. Buildings and landscapes, to me, are also an art form, representing what happened in the past, what we have now and what we can expect for the future. Getting to know what my friends think about it will test my perceptions of what I see. It will influence my work, especially the handling of fine arts.