Past and Present
From the 1910's onwards, the Cambodian families related to the Royal dynasties and the emerging private businesses started to settle down west and south of the Palace. Street 240 was one of the major arteries along which new mansions and compounds sprouted out of the ground.
From the Palace up to Norodom Boulevard, the street is named after Oknha (Nobleman) Chhun, Minister of the Palace. Westbound from the boulevard, in the area where White Mansion stands, it bears the name of Preah Ang (Prince) Phanavong (photo above), one of King Norodom's sons who presided over the Council of Ministers in the 1920s and was held for a while as heir to the throne.
Several families linked to Lady Khun Kim An Yap, a concubine of King Suramarit's -- the father of King Norodom Sihanouk --, strived among this new quarter of the city, known as District 5. Later on, diplomatic legations developed along Norodom Boulevard, bringing in cultural and architectural influences distinct from the time-honored French trends.
Younger generations of businessmen and women, as well as politicians, elected this area as their residence. In particular, Long Boreth, the last Prime Minister of the Republican government (1970-1975), was close to the then US Ambassador Emory Swank. At that time, the US Embassy was nearby, on Norodom Boulevard, but when the legation reopened in 1992, it was relocated #27 Street 240 (photo above), right next to the building that used to be a Residence for American ambassadors and their guests.
Art shows, concerts and more at White Mansion Legend Boutique Hotel.
Interlude, an exhibition by Chea Serey
Finally got the video of the exhibition days. Thank you for all the VIP guests family, friends, guests, art lovers, art beginners and everyone who took their precious time attending this exhibition over the past 3 weeks. Thank you to Marie and Alexis De Suremain for finding me and organize this exhibition at their place the white mansion. Big thanks to Sopanha Kham Vety Meng and Tonartgallery for the logistic. The most important lessons I learnt through this new experience are 1) sometime your calling is coincidental, don’t spend too much time trying to find it. It’ll come to you at the right time. 2) One can do anything we set our heart to, all we need is passion and a bit of encouragement from our loved ones. If you haven’t found your calling at least support your loved ones when they find theirs. 3) I learnt a lot about perspective not just about art, but also about life. People sees things differently than you depending on where they stand. You can’t expect people to share your views and perspective on any subject, so respect that differing views. Some of the paintings I myself find as rather a failure turned out to be one of the most appreciated by the public. And that lead to my last lesson 4) Be optimistic. What you think is bad may not be as bad after all.Posted by Serey Chea on Tuesday, August 4, 2020