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Cambodia & Diaspora: The thousand talents of Charly Ho

Dear readers, in the continuity of atypical portraits of Khmers around the world for Cambodge MAG, we stay in France and return to one of the first, Charly HO.

Charly HO
Charly HO

The exceptional Photographer with millions of views on BRUT is now exploring new horizons, with a focus on customization. This other talent that he exercises on items such as shoes or jackets has earned him a more than warm welcome from - not only the "people" - but also art lovers and the "out of the ordinary". almost everywhere in the world. In addition to this arc, there are other new strings that we invite you to discover today through the magazine.


During our first interview almost three years ago, we mainly focused on photography. Since then, you have greatly diversified your proposals. What are your areas now?

Along with photography, I developed my "Custom" universe which also allowed me to reconnect with painting which represented my first steps in the creative universe.

In terms of customization, how did this passion arise?

Since my childhood, I already cultivated the singularity. I have always felt different. It was important for me to wear clothes that looked like me, to have a US bag that reflected my ideas, and my thoughts. So, very early on, I personalized unique pieces related to my world firmly rooted in my head.

What are your favorite objects to customize?

Almost everything, a table, a chair, a bag, a box. But in particular I develop custom sneakers, and perfecto jackets, M65 jackets, iconic models of women's and men's fashion.


Could you describe your favorite or most unusual creations?

Once, I received a pair of sneakers that had been shipped to me from the United States. It was a Jordan pair, quite original. Once finished and then shipped to my collector client, I learned that in fact this was a very rare pair from Nike. She was worth $4800. The client absolutely wanted my signature on it. I was really very surprised, but very honored at the same time.

Regarding painting, what do you tend to orient yourself towards and what would be your favorite subjects?

As I have 30 years of painting to catch up, I give free rein to my desires of the moment. But I have noticed that what comes up regularly is more figurative and abstract art.

You also reproduced extremely iconic sketches like Grendizer's…why?

Grendizer rocked my childhood. Actarus embodied a character that seemed similar to my story. I created the Grendizer Work in 2021, in the midst of the COVID period. My exhibition dates were shifted to 2022. I took the opportunity to create something for my children. The success was immediate; there are currently only 2 out of 8 draws left.

You now devote yourself to sculpture. Tell us about some of your works completed or in progress

I like sculpture, the work on material. I wanted to bring out a character from my paintings while combining my custom universe. The end result is really surprising. I really like it.

What place does Cambodia or the Khmer identity occupy in these new achievements?

My roots subtly infuse into my creations. I have not yet experimented with this point of view for my paintings. On the other hand, I feel this need to photograph the city where I was born, I feel this need to share with my community the contradiction of this country: the cultural richness and the apparent poverty of the country.

Are there currently any achievements in progress concerning the kingdom?

Not at the moment, but I would like to go back there to produce a series of photographs dedicated to the craftsmen and talents of the country.

Your work, whether in photography, painting, personalization, or other, deal with several universes. But do you think of doing it only around Cambodia?

Yes, especially for photography, painting and sculpture.

If yes, can you tell us a few lines about it?

There are projects under discussion, my team is looking for sponsors or partners. A new exhibition of WHY ME portraits is also planned for May and June in Lognes (Paris region)

Finally, your conclusions regarding these new directions?

These new directions allow me to continue to experiment with my creative limits and to be a multidisciplinary artist.

I find it really fascinating to be able to combine several mediums in my creative process. Sometimes photography influences my paintings, and sometimes it is the opposite. Then, the custom of the sneakers influences my paintings. What fascinates me the most is to observe its different symbioses, it is like flows of energy that enter into fusion.

Interview by Chantha R (Françoise Raspberry)

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