Christian Develter’s Warp Studio in Siem Reap

The Belgian artist's serene life in the city of Angkor.

Many years back, what is now Warehouse 30 was the location of one of the coolest artist studios in Bangkok. Warp Studio was founded by Belgian artist Christian Develter who is head over heels in love with Thailand and Asia.

But everything has its course. After many years in Thailand, it was time for Christian and his partner Peter to move again. Luckily, their new home isn’t that far, since it is just a one-hour flight away in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Born in 1968 in West Flanders, Belgium, Christian moved to Asia in the 1990s. As a talented painter, he has created numerous portraits with distinctive lines and eye-catching colors. One of his famous works is the Chin Series inspired by Chin tribal women with tattooed faces in Myanmar.

Since his works are well-known in Cambodia (with several works displayed in leading resorts and galleries), moving there was quite a seamless journey. They found a plot of land not far from Siem Reap city center. The plot was then turned into the location of the new Warp Studio and Suralaya Residence, one of Siem Reap’s coolest residences to date.

Apart from the high ceiling space, the Cambodian version of Warp Studio is quite different from the Bangkok one. The architecture of the studio itself is like one piece of art. Inspired by Jean Desbois’ design of the Central Market in Phnom Penh, the building features the natural ventilation system necessary for Siem Reap in summer. The artist spends most of his time here during the day.

Not far from this modernist building is another building which is completely different. There, you will find a two-storey traditional house next to a little pond and the majestic rice field vista. The found the house by chance and relocated it here. An open-air terrace downstairs for private parties and gatherings, while the terrace upstairs is equipped with chairs and sofas to take in the view. Inside, the space is decorated with antiques and memorabilia they have collected through time.

Warp Studio welcomes visitors by appointments only. For more information visit christiandevelter.com

Feature image: Antal Gabelics (antalgabelics.com)

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