Foray into Art Collection?

Last night I bought this piece of painting which I know close to nothing about. One that I am still trying to figure out.

I had been getting a little impatient with the plain walls at my dining and living halls so when I saw this hanging by a roadside stall at the touristy Batu Feringghi Night Market I decided to haggle for it. I am no art aficionado so I didn’t know what value to place on it but in the end MYR 120 (about USD 40) felt reasonable. It required no framing so I could have it hung and displayed right away.

I just realized there was no artist signature. All I know from the foreign worker manning the stall was that it came from Cambodia. I do not know what sort of paint was used, and the material it was painted on (definitely not canvas, though).

But it looks good to me. And it evokes a sense of relaxation in what seemed a rather grand setting — perhaps a cafe in an old, refurbished palatial mansion. There’s also an aura of mystery…this place seems to be out of bounds to the crowd depicted at the top portion of the painting. There also seems to be a suggestion of a contrast between the upper and middle class, the haves and have nots.

But I am still trying to make sense of the colourful ground, and the strokes of yellow which seem like rays of light. And the straight white-coloured line that started from the deck where the tables and chairs are placed. Viewed from a distance there is a three-dimensional effect to the painting.

I spent about 20 minutes looking at it after bringing it home, trying to make sense of it. Perhaps this could be the start of an interest in art.

Meanwhile if anyone could enlighten me as to what this painting is about that would be great.