- City, State: new york, new york
- Geographic Location: North America
I was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1975. Fleeing the Khmer Rouge regime, my family took residence in Canada. I went on to graduate from the University of Paris in 2007 with a PhD in Social Anthropology and a BA in Khmer Studies.
I became an artist when I did my PhD field research in Cambodia. I was very much inspired by the culture and urban texture of Phnom Penh. The possibilities offered by the country gave me the courage to fully express myself as an artist.
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My commitment to the art community
The commitment of my art work is more than a personal identity research, the impact upon the art students and professional artists and among the Cambodian Diasporas overseas is essential in their own reflection of identity. The “khmerness” issues from the Khmer Rouges lead to genocides. Under the years of pro-communism government afterward, censorship was at it fullest. Now a day, Cambodian people in the country self censor themselves either out of fear of the future or out of habit of silencing their opinions. To me it is more than promoting a Cambodian art scene and empowering a culture, it is about free expression where ever you are. My purpose from the very beginning was to create a binding relationship between artists of different dimensions, connecting them to exhibiting spaces and vice versa, and to show the public the most creative minds working in the visual arts nowadays in Cambodia.
For me Cambodian art should be considered as contemporary art and not simply as a nationalistic endeavour or as representing ideas of exoticism. Through my website and future curatorial efforts, I seek to exhibit the most prominent Cambodian artists in the country and outside. I also hope to create a sense of art community amongst the visual artists.
I'm passionate about:
The Incognito series presents Cambodian women under an attractive, rich and complex aspect - at the same time global and particularly local. The Khmer society is traditionally constraining, with a constant control of the young people. When they move around town or elsewhere, one pays attention to one's clothing to avoid getting tanned, Asian society praise a clear complexion. All the protection clothes create unrecognizable individuals. This anonymity gives a feeling of freedom in the city, contrary of the Muslim countries where women are masked by tradition. Incognito depicts the Asian woman differently than an exotic and submitted object.
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