Born in 1989 in the refugee camp n°2 at the Thaï and Cambodian border.
Based in Nantes, France.
Dé-Rives (Invitation : Ballon Generali of the city of Paris, Pavillon du parc André Citröen, Paris, France)
Cycle (Curator : Erin Gleeson, Rosewood Art Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
A Small Part (Tini art space, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Break the System (Galerie Lee, Paris, France)
Break the System (Sangker Gallery, Battambang, Cambodia)
Rain (Java Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Freedom with Broom (Romeet Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selection)
Out of Line: Tracing abstraction within contemporary art in Cambodia (Curator : Erin Gleeson, Akar Prakar Gallery, New Delhi, Inde)
Face Forward (Tree Line Gallery, Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Shapeshifting : Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia (10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong)
Made in Battambang (Institut français, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
The Memory Workshop Artworks (Columbia Maison Française, Buell Hall, East Gallery, New York, USA)
Four Rising Talents from Southeast Asia (10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong)
Farmer (Sa Sa Bassac Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
The Memory Workshop Artworks (Bophana centre de ressources audiovisuelles, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
RESIDENCIES – PARTICIPANT
Studio of the artist Mit Jai Inn (Chiang Mai, Thaïland)
Cambodia, the Memory Workshop (by the researcher Soko Phay, with artists Séra et Vann Nath, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
RESIDENCIES – INVITED ARTIST
Fields (Sa Sa Bassac Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Les Apprentis d’Auteuil (Paris, France)
Phare Ponleu Selpak, école d’art (Battambang, Cambodia)
COLLABORATION – CINEMA AND VIDEO
… Far Away, Over there, the Ocean, by Vandy Rattana, first actor (Singapor Biennale, 2019)
Diamond Island by Davy Chou, actor : Solei (1st award Semaine Internationale de la critique, Cannes 2016 and 1st award Journée Romantique, Festival du film de Cabourg 2016)
Waxing Moon / Quinzaine Claire by Adrien Genoudet, documentary
Phare Ponleu Selpak, visual arts (Battambang, Cambodia), exchange with Pivaut school (Nantes, France)
I was born in 1989 in refugee camp No. 2 on the Thai-Cambodian border. Uprooted from birth, my artistic practice could only speak of territories and the points of view held on them.
The essence of my practice, my inspiration, is indeed what composes my daily environment: the raw textures of the nature that surrounds me; mainly the land and water that cover Cambodia. Interpreting the natural elements as subjects makes new abstract territories appear. Painting and canvas become my materials, they are manipulated and tested: nature becomes cultural and is transformed into landscape plans.
The first time, I had nothing; I grabbed the traditional broom made of coconut twigs from the house. This broom is my tool. Large, hazardous, rough and fragile, it taps, it scratches, it digs. It leaves its print in the canvas, it leaves its wood in the paint. What interests me is the accident that happens from a familiar element, simple and worthless. When I paint, I observe what happens in my painting, so that it is created and developed according to its environment. That is why I give birth to it totally with my hands: I know which wood is used to make the frame, how it is assembled and with which mixture the canvas is prepared, it is the beginning of the creative process.
The figure and the background become blurred, caressing each other. What finally is a territory? To what extent are land and water separated? When do they melt one into the other to become matter? I want people to discover new territories. In this lies the power of the painter; he is a creator. When he paints, whatever he paints, it becomes reality, the reality of matter on the canvas. It is this reality that he offers to go through.
My canvas is my space, I survey it, feel it and experiment it in movement with the amplitude offered by my simple broom. I explore space-time in movement.
I work my canvas on the ground like a cartographer looking at the immensity he can create on his plane, out of the usual landmarks and boundaries. However, these landscape planes are those of my life, of the paths I take, discover and survey. How do I perceive the ground from the air? There is no up or down, I can’t choose because I’m in the middle of nowhere, that’s what allows me to see everything as I imagine it. It’s all a matter of point of view.
I am a painter. I can only be a painter, I don’t know how to do anything else, born on a territory where education and culture are not the priorities. Is my practice then a gift or a cry? Is it a beginning or an end? I try to bring something from unknown places, from this Cambodia that we know little about, but then it is up to the spectator to complete the work.