Days 13 – 14 : Street Art in Phnom Penh with Peap Tarr & Lisa Mam…

June 20, 2016 by Gregory Herpe

Yesterday I said goodbye to Happy Chandara …

It has been a great adventure but  it is not finished  yet,  I’ll have to work a lot of images and together with Tina Kieffer , we have to organize an auction in behalf of  “Toutes à l’ecole”.


Back in Phnom Penh, with its stifling heat, and its storms.

Looking through a publication of Asia Life Magazine, I come across an article about the street artists Peap Tarr & Lisa Mam.

I remember seeing a documentary on Canal +, a view month ago, about this couple the city and the city walls.

Peap Tarr is born in New Zealand, his mother is Cambodian and Lisa Mam is from Phnom Penh. They are husband and wife and are working all over the world together.

They make part of the most famous Asian urban artists in the world.

I try to find a way to contact them … Whenever they want or can, even now two days before I leave Phnom Penh …

And then I see one or two possibilities … I write  Peap and I  wait …


Great news! Two hours later, I receive a very friendly message and we make an appointment for the following morning.  And I am looking forward to meet, photograph and interview them …

I dined and watched Belgium-Ireland on streaming in my room … but fall asleep before the end ….


This morning I am at Villa Langka where we arranged to meet at 11:00. I have prepared my interview and I see them happen exactly on time

I guessed they would be sympathetic, but not until this level!

We begin the interview and I learn a lot. Not only about them but also on street art in Cambodia, Asia, on art in general, now and then, the people, people’s lives and politics since the genocide.

They have much to tell, a lot to offer and so much to share. They invite me for lunch in a typical local restaurant.


Later we leave for a tour through Phnom Penh looking for Street Art. And not just theirs, but also those of the Korean-American graffiti artist David Choe from Los Angeles, Aryz a Spanish urban artist and the American, of Taiwanese origin, illustrator and painter James Jean.

Peap and Lisa pose before the work of their friends. Finally I discover this Asian urban scene I sought unsuccessfully last weekend.


(Peap Tarr posing in front a mural of James Jean)


And I have a lot of fun with my new friends! Funny, these are the kind of individuals we encounter with the immediate feeling of knowing all along.


(Lisa Mam & Peap Tarr in front of a mural of David Choe)


They show me two of their four hand painted murals. The first one in a cozy bar in the city, and the second in a hyper-trendy bar situated in a fashionable new neighborhood, still under construction, wherein all the youth of the capital is gathered.

You feel the influences of Khmer traditions, New Zealand tribal art, design and graphics too. These two are so rich, internally, their works speak to everyone.


(In front of their own work in the Puzzles Gastropub)


I must write this article quickly, at least it will be published by two magazines.


It is 7:00 p.m. when they drop me at the hotel … The day passed quickly with Lisa & Peap.  We say goodbye warmly by promising to see each other again soon.


(Peap, Lisa, and me…Selfie!)


Tomorrow I will take the plane towards Ho Chi Minh, Doha and Barcelona.  Already I think that I have some good reasons to come back to Cambodia.











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