Meas Sokhorn, Contemporary Art Museum, 2010. Installation view at Java Gallery, Phnom Penh. Photo by Lim SokchanLina. Courtesy JavaArts
Java Café & Gallery was established by Dana Langlois in 2000 as a combination of a café and a gallery, to support the growth of a dynamic art scene in Cambodia. At the time, there was very little happening in contemporary visual arts in the country and Java offered an opportunity to both local and international artists to exhibit and sell their work to the people who frequented the café. Since then, Java Café & Gallery has hosted more than one hundred exhibitions, as well as artist presentations, international exchange projects, and forums.
The gallery has brought international attention to the work of Cambodian artists, helping renowned creators such as Leang Seckon, Pich Sopheap, Oeur Sokuntevy, Chath Piersath, and Meas Sokhorn become known to the public at large.
Up until 2008, the gallery was nonprofit, and supported exhibitions and projects entirely by its own funds. However, the art scene has developed significantly over the years, and JavaArts—the development arm of the café/gallery—aims to promote sustainability through the development of a viable commercial sector, generating funds from sales that are then channeled into community projects or sponsorship of artist initiatives.