The 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

There are many contemporary art galleries in Phnom Penh.
There are many contemporary art galleries in Phnom Penh. | © AidaKhubaeva / Pixabay
Photo of Marissa
8 October 2019

The Cambodian capital’s growing collection of contemporary art spaces is a reflection of the rising number of artists, who tackle a variety of techniques and topics in their work, in the city. Here are 10 of the best contemporary art galleries in Phnom Penh that showcase their art.

Java Cafe & Gallery

Cafe, European, American, Asian, $$$
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Java Cafe & Gallery | © Java Cafe & Gallery

As a stalwart on the coffee shop scene, Java has been catering to the capital’s swelling expat and young Khmer population since 2000. Spread across two floors, fresh food is served throughout the day, with the upstairs doubling up as an art gallery featuring changing exhibits of local artists’ work. Java recently opened a cafe and art space in Toul Tom Poung that also features a black box theatre.

Khmer Sense

Art Gallery
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Khmer Sense
Khmer Sense | © Khmer Sense

Having recently moved to its current location in the heart of the capital’s art district on Street 178, Khmer Sense showcases the finest of Cambodia’s growing collection of contemporary artists. It also doubles up as a restaurant and bar, with a pool table and regular live music in the evenings.

Lotus Pond at Plantation - urban resort & spa

Boutique Hotel
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Lotus Pond Art Gallery
Lotus Pond Art Gallery at Plantation hotel | © Lotus Pond Art Gallery
The stylish Plantation hotel is also home to Lotus Pond Art Gallery, which houses a rotating variety of exhibitions from a mix of local and international artists. Exhibitions usually change every six weeks, with an opening party held for each.

META HOUSE

Art Gallery, Building, University
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Meta House
Meta House | © Meta House
META HOUSE is a creative space in the heart of the city that was opened in 2007 by German filmmaker Nico Mesterharm. The two-storey building is home to a ground floor gallery, upstairs indoor bar and diner where DJs play regularly in the evenings, and an outdoor space that hosts workshops, talks and daily screenings of documentaries and independent and mainstream movies. It scooped the 2016 Award For the Best Contemporary Arts Centre in Southeast Asia.

DinArt

Art Gallery
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DinArt
A painting of an apsara dancer by Din, of DinArt in Phnom Penh | © DinArt

Cambodian artist Teang Borin — known as Din — has made a name for himself across Cambodia for his elegant, colourful and abstract portrayal of the graceful apsara dancers that inspire him. Having studied architecture from 2001 to 2005 and going on to spend seven years working for an architecture firm, Din is now a full-time artist. His variety of work, that also tackles issues such as homosexuality, religion and society, is on display at his gallery and studio above Feel Good Cafe.

Kbach Gallery

Art Gallery
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Kbach Gallery
Kbach Gallery | © Kbach Gallery

Acting as a platform for the capital’s rising number of urban artists, Kbach Gallery aims to promote and support the street art scene. It hosts a range of exhibitions showcasing local and Cambodia-based artists’ work, while also acting as a permanent place for selected artists to display their work. It also puts on exhibits of international artists’ pieces.

Neverland Artspace

Art Gallery
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Syahrulfikri Salleh
"Whatever Comes” — a group exhibition curated by Syahrulfikri Salleh — is one of many exhibitions held at Neverland Artspace. | © Neverland Artspace

Hidden down a network of back alleys, Neverland Artspace is a creative space for the capital’s artists and curators. It regularly hosts exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances and other art-related events. It is also home to permanent studio, n o w h e r e art studio, which showcases and sells a variety of quirky art from across the region.

Institut Français du Cambodge

Art Gallery, School, Music Venue
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Institut Français du Cambodge
Institut Français du Cambodge hosts many exhibitions | © Institut Français du Cambodge
In 1992, the Institut Français du Cambodge (IFC) — then known as the Centre Culturel Français — was the first art centre to reopen in Cambodia after decades of cultural stagnancy brought on by civil unrest. The spacious grounds house gardens and a sprawling minimalist-style building. It holds regular exhibitions, workshops and classes, live entertainment, screenings and mini festivals.

Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center

Art Gallery, Movie Theater, School
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Bophana Center archives old film footage. | Bophana Center archives old film footage.
Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center is a cinema and hub for photography, television, film and sound. As a lot of image and sound archives were destroyed during decades of conflict, Bophana collates and archives surviving material and puts them on display for the public. It also serves as an educational site where young Cambodians can learn audiovisual techniques, multimedia practices, broadcasting and film production. Visitors can peruse photographs that date back to 1866 and heaps of treasured film footage. The space also regularly hosts exhibitions, workshops and film screenings.
These recommendations were updated on October 8, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.