Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 7 Questions with Mr. Thomas Pierre


7 Questions with Mr. Thomas Pierre

7 Questions with Mr. Thomas Pierre

3 Thomas pierre

Born in Versailles to a family of painters, Thomas Pierre likes to combine figurative art with abstraction. Having first come to Cambodia in 2009 to paint the temples of Angkor, Pierre has moved back to his Western roots for his new exhibition, Perspective, at Meta House. Texture plays a major role in all his paintings, with effects ranging from wiry acrylic paint patterns to intentional puncture marks on the canvas. With acrylic works depicting European castles and 1950s American homes competing with textured abstracts, Pierre has created an ensemble exhibition that merges genres. Bennett Murray reports.

Why are you showing both figurative and abstract paintings in the one show?
Normally, you are a figurative artist or you are an abstract artist. But I do not like to just focus on one thing. What I like is to paint – the subject is just [summoned by] the pleasure of the moment. I’m very proud to have figurative and abstraction together, and I hope a lot of people are interested in that. It’s not easy to show the two things together.

I work on both at the same time. I really like to paint a figurative image and to stop sometimes and then go work on the abstraction.
 
Are you an Impressionist or an Expressionist?
I’m more of an Impressionist. For Expressionists, it is different because there is more movement. But my paintings are more still.
 
How did you add texture to your paintings?
For some of the paintings, I created texture with acrylics. And a lot of paper and glue. I like to mix different material. I like to work to capture different dimensions. For some paintings, I raised the canvas and put holes in it. You can see the shadows beneath the painting. It is opening from the inside.

It is very important to show with this exhibition different things. To show to the young Khmer people that you can use different materials. That it is very interesting– to try different things, to do different things.
 
What painters influence you?
I like [Miquel] Barceló, Henri Matisse and [Cesare] Dell’acqua. And I like the [19th-century orientalist] traveller painters.
 
How did having painters for parents influence you?
I’ve been painting since I was young, and I’d go up to the studio with my parents so I really knew painting. I saw a lot of exhibitions with them.
They are totally different from each other. My dad is figurative, and he is a colourist. He likes to use a lot of colours. And my mother prefers to works with black and white.
 
How was it to spend five years painting in Berlin?
It’s a fantastic city for the artist. You have a lot of artists, a lot of great exhibitions, but it is not easy to live there if you’re a painter because there a lot of other painters. But I decided to leave because of the weather. Six months of the year, you have no light, so it is difficult to paint there if you want colour. So I went to the opposite side of the world.
 
What inspiration do you draw from Cambodia?
Now that’s a difficult question to answer. I like the light and the colour. It’s very important. When I first came to Cambodia, I painted the temples. I came to Siem Reap, and I stayed there to take a lot of pictures and to paint, and I decided after six months to move to Phnom Penh. My first exhibition was three years ago at the National Museum.

But of course, I am painting Western subjects now. I would like for this exhibition to be the opposite to my [Cambodian subjects]. When I painted Angkor, I tried to do something different [from other Angkor paintings]. For this, I use the same ideas. Of course, it’s modern and contemporary. Especially the American architecture of the 1950s, like you have in California.

I like to work here. It’s not easy for the painter to sell paintings here, but it’s great to propose different ideas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’