Details from ‘Riders on the Storm‘
© Peter McMahon
Riders on the storm:
SEX DESPAIR JOY EVIL BEAUTY
RIDERS ON THE STORM: SEX DESPAIR JOY EVIL BEAUTY is Julien Poulson’s take on the Golden Era of King Norodom Sihanouk’s psychedelic Sixties through to the rock’n’roll and Cold War politics of the 1970s, not least the bitter clash between Western Culture, Communism and the Vietnam War in Cambodia.
This series is also a personal journey, it’s about birth, life and death of Kak Channthy – Julien’s beloved co-founder of The Cambodian Space Project – and how Channthy, born into war & poverty in 1980 (the year Pol Pot fled Phnom Penh), struggled and overcame great odds to reach stratospheric heights and a global audience as ‘the barefoot diva of The Cambodian rice fields’ with The Cambodian Space Project. This new series is created as a tribute to Kak Channthy – a celebration of her life, music, and the incredible legacy she has given to this world.
RIDERS ON THE STORM: SEX DESPAIR JOY EVIL BEAUTY is an artist’s map showing the echoes and reverberations of lives lived boldly through space and time. It describes a brief history of Cambodian on 12 canvases.
“Kak Channthy represented everything that is beautiful about Cambodia, the spirit of the oppressed and the poor. She lives on.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Julien Poulson is an internationally acclaimed pop artist best known as the founder of The Cambodian Space Project. Poulson’s work spans art forms including music, printmaking, painting, film, digital media and writing. His Cambodia-inspired art is exhibited in galleries around the world and is also part of the permanent collection at the ethnographic Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.
Poulson’s visual art brings an expansive pop art package to the psychedelic, atmospheric music of The Cambodian Space Project. His screen print poster series and led to the establishment of Sticky Finger Arts Prints Cambodia – a printmaking collective producing limited edition prints themed on South East Asian iconography. In 2010, Poulson was awarded the prestigious Alcorso Foundation Italy Artist Residency, and spent time in Venice writing a libretto and music for Muskito, a theatrical work. This collaboration with American producer Aaron Hurwitz (The Band, Bob Dylan, Mercury Rev) led to the release of an album based on tales of Tasmania’s brutal indigenous and colonial frontier history. This work ushered his move into writing and producing for film and theatre.
He continues to tour with The Cambodian Space Project and works with a diverse range of artists, such as his recent collaboration with producer Harley Stumm and director Carlos Gomes to write, develop and produce “Cosmic Cambodia” – a rock opera which premièred at Sydney Festival 2016.
Poulson now resides in Kampot where he has established the Kampot Arts & Music Association (KAMA) with the aim of developing the creative community in Cambodia by facilitating a range of workshops and art events.
This series is available in pairs as presented by the artist, or as individual pieces.