Cambodia Investment Review

Redefining Phnom Penh Retail: The Peak’s Journey into Cambodia’s Cultural and Artistic Heritage

Redefining Phnom Penh Retail: The Peak’s Journey into Cambodia’s Cultural and Artistic Heritage

Vijian Paramasivam

In a significant shift from the conventional retail paradigm, The Peak, a striking 55-storey mixed-use development in Cambodia, is hosting an innovative event dubbed “Nomadic Culture.” This initiative blends the familiar territory of shopping with a deep dive into Cambodia’s rich cultural milieu, aiming to redefine the retail landscape and set new industry standards.

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Discussing this ground-breaking concept, Pierre Balsan, Managing Director of Bluebell Cambodia, told the Cambodia Investment Review, “The traditional notion of shopping has evolved substantially. Today, it isn’t solely about purchasing a product, it’s about the experiences that accompany it. With ‘Nomadic Culture,’ we are pioneering a fresh course in the realm of retail dynamics.”

Nomadic Culture Event at The Peak in Phnom Penh on 7th June 2023 (Credit Roman Koenig)

The event, which runs from June 7 to June 11, has been organized in partnership with the International Design Expedition (IDE). It encompasses a varied range of workshops and exhibitions, each meticulously designed to delve into nomadic traditions via art, ceramics, film, and food. The initiative also allows visitors to interact with and learn from globally acclaimed artists like Camillo Bernal, Stanislas Loubières, and Cambodian artist Sihak Son.

The Peak showcases its forward-thinking vision

These collaborations add layers of creativity and intellectual richness to the event, as The Peak showcases its forward-thinking vision ahead of its grand opening in 2024. The initiative is not confined to the realm of retail; it serves as a cultural hub for diplomats, the media, the expatriate community, and art enthusiasts in Phnom Penh.

“Our primary aim is to bring the world to Cambodia and take Cambodia to the world. We’re creating more than just a shopping complex; we’re building a community,” Balsan stated. “The Peak will be a space that curates memorable experiences for its patrons, fostering a deep connection with the culture and heritage of the region.”

Nomadic Culture Event at The Peak in Phnom Penh on 7th June 2023 (Credit Roman Koenig)

Nestled close to Diamond Island, The Peak is an architectural marvel that harmoniously integrates shops, office spaces, residences, and restaurants. The renowned Shangri-La Hotel is right next door, further enhancing its appeal. Notably, The Peak plans to dedicate its entire fourth level to showcasing Cambodian art and culture, providing a unique cultural immersion for visitors.

The Bluebell Group, an established name in the luxury retail sector for over six decades, is the driving force behind this endeavour. Having successfully marked its presence in ten Asian markets, Bluebell ventured into the Cambodian market in 2021. It plans to introduce 30 luxury brands to the Kingdom through The Peak, further enriching Cambodia’s retail landscape.

A high bar for future retail-culture collaborations

A noteworthy feature of the “Nomadic Culture” event is the screening of “The Perfect Motion,” a documentary by acclaimed French director Xavier de Lauzanne. The film provides insightful glimpses into the creation of the Royal Ballet ‘Metamorphosis’ directed by the late Princess Buppha Devi, adding another dimension of cultural significance to the event.

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Stanislas Loubières, the Art Director of The Gallerist, whose artists’ works are on display at The Peak, highlighted the potential of “Nomadic Culture” as a launching pad for promising local talent. “This unique exhibition is a magnificent opportunity to illustrate how art is a fundamental pillar of our society, acting as a unifying force that transcends boundaries. Our objective is to bring international excellence and aesthetics to Cambodia’s capital,” he said.

Nomadic Culture Event at The Peak in Phnom Penh on 7th June 2023 (Credit Roman Koenig)

The “Nomadic Culture” event has proudly unveiled nearly 30 sculptures and about 20 paintings, primarily by Cambodian artists, signifying a harmonious blend of retail, art, and culture. This fusion has drawn a considerable crowd and set a high bar for future retail-culture collaborations, marking an impressive start for The Peak’s journey.

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