To Build a Big University of Fine Arts
Let me express my sincere appreciation to presence of everyone’s participation in the arts festival. Like in previous festivals, the performance arts and their compositions have clearly shown new progresses, especially the way it has widened among youth. The festival is in itself an event that guides transference of experience and knowhow in the field of arts and culture from one generation to another and this has called for thinking of more human resource training in this sector. Over the recent past, with the Mayor of Phnom Penh and Culture and Fine Arts Minister Phuong Sakona, I have had discussions on where and how to build a new University of Fine Arts. We will work on a first step of 12 million USD project, which includes also a Cultural Centre, on an area of 4 hectares in size in Jroy Jangva.
The matter now is how to get the project started as soon as we can. We need to think of the different steps and figure out which one is to commence. I think our foreign friends can think of some kind of contribution, especially the French Ambassador is also here present. Maybe France can help us. I am thinking of a big and beautiful University of Fine Arts. The Cultural Centre would have facilities for circus and other cultural events. We will first commence the project on an area of three hectares. I would remind that the project must not forget a hostel for students, especially female students and those coming from far provinces.
We will have a new University and I hope that we will be able to start soon and should not wait for three years to begin it. We also have to reserve spaces for future demand. We are making sure that we will churn out human resource in culture and arts as without them, there nothing that we can do. I have also had attention of the Ministry of Public Functions to look into issues relating to staff of culture and fine arts. Some died and some retired. While it is hard to find replacements, I have asked the Ministry to consider providing the Ministry of Culture some possibility to recruit as they have the need to preserves many different forms of arts and culture, performance arts, dances, songs, sculpture, and issues relating to temples preservations.
Performance with National Identity
We must be clear on a concept that if we are repeating everything the way it is, there would be no development. However, every development or evolution must bear a sense of national identity. Take for instance those of you who perform in music band or dancing groups you must have some form of national identity. There is this concern also about intellectual property – reconstructions of arts by copying, repeating, plagiarizing, etc. Our artists going abroad for shows and/or performances could face these problems when their works do not represent national identity in anyway. We may think of some signs so that on the one hand we will have an identity of our own and on another hand to avoid legal actions from other countries about copying, repeating, and/or plagiarizing.
Concerned Institutions to Work Together as a Team
I think we must be working on it together. For instance, we are designing and printing calendars every year. The Ministries of Culture and Tourism design and print their own calendars. We must collaborate on having some of the major historic events included for the sake of memorizing them. In addition to showing highlights for fast Buddhist days, we may also add in event like admission of the temple of Angkor in the list of world heritage. We may also print that in Children text and note books. Children will remember it. There are more that concerned institutions can think of doing together. The press can also do to help. It requires working as a team.
Singers/Performers Should Learn Many Artistic Forms
Maybe I should on this topic about song. I have downloaded many songs in the last months, to my phone and my wife’s. There was a song “Dad, Please Come Back,” written and composed by Ms Chanthi, now Secretary of State of Information, and sung by Meng Keopichda. It was since the fifth plenum of the Cambodian People’s Party. She was eleven. The song was in those days used to appeal to different warring factions to stop fighting and return to the fold of nation to build peace. We are lucky that the country has united against secessions of any kinds.
We have the best voices of many art performers/singers like Aok Sokun Kanha, Chhorn Sovannareach, etc. My advice is that the art performers or singers should know more than one form of performance arts. The impression here is that those who have skills in folk music songs and those in pop music songs should train themselves to be able to do either. Let us see that the late famous singers Sin Sisamuth knew how to sing both folk and pop music sings. He started as a singer in a symphony band. Later he developed his skills and he could sing with both folk and pop music bands. As I have listened to your voices, I am sure you can develop those skills as he did […]