Painting and fascinating effects

Theam's media include lacquers, painting and sculpture, with pieces that are uniquely expressive of Theam while also maintaining a strong Khmer ethic. He has created a new aesthetic, drawing and paintings on both Khmer tradition and contemporary international designs hoping to breathe new life into Cambodian handicrafts.

Inspired by the religious murals of Cambodia’s majestic pagodas, along with the technique of polychrome and lacquer-ware, Theam has created his own unique and innovative style that might be over-simply described as using boards instead of canvas and featuring paint that is sanded and lacquered after being laid on. His creative process includes polychrome images with successive layers of paint, enhanced by scratched effects.

The composition of fine layers of strong acrylic colours creates a rich thickness which is then softened by meticulous sandpapering. It is a ceaseless game of addition and subtraction with his materials, discovering new and fascinating effects. Once lacquered, the images express intense spirituality through divinely beaming expressions.