ANGKOR and ROME
site specific project at Sa Sa Art Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2022
photo: Sa Sa Art
Jaro Varga was intrigued by the phenomenon of the emergence of a new satellite city inspired by European imperial architecture on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
While exploring unfinished and imposing Paris-like boulevards and eclectic residential districts, the artist reflected on the newly emerging heterotopic public space. The result of his investigation is a fictional intent to install an original mosaic as a public artwork in situ, which would represent a subversive reflection of the place but also a critique of anachronistic cultural imports. Through the mosaic, a European art technique, the artist transforms a fragment of a traditional painting from the epic Reamker, a Khmer adaptation of the Ramayana, depicting Hanuman and Suvannamaccha touching hands. The touch of hands - the touch of cultures, can signify love, friendship but also oppression and domination.