319 N. 11th St., Vox: 3rd fl., 215/238-1253,
Khmer: basement, 215/922-5600,
HOURS: Vox: Wed.–Sun. noon–6 p.m.;
Khmer: Wed., Fri., and Sat. 11 a.m.–4 p.m., first Fri. of the month 5–9 p.m.
These two unique galleries are not related, other than by nature of being housed in the same large warehouse just north of Chinatown. Vox Populi hosts contemporary exhibitions including experimental film, cutting-edge installations, and a wide range of work by mostly Philadelphia-based artists. It is also host to numerous indie and experimental musical performances, and has a sophisticated feel while remaining a true DIY artist collective.
Khmer, in the basement level, is very different. Featuring original and reproduction Cambodian sculpture, artwork, jewelry, and photography collected by the friendly Cambodian-born owner Bonna and her husband, Bob, it is an interesting stop for anyone interested in Asian art. Most of the pieces are large and way out of the price range of the average person—try upwards of $50,000 for a marble garden statue—but there are some modestly priced items like jewelry and small artwork.
The museum-like space is fun to wander around even if you’re not looking to outfit a large Asian-themed estate or restaurant.