THINKING CURRENTS Participating Artist: KHVAY Samnang

KHVAY Samnang (Phnom Penh)

Untitled, 2011, single-channel video, color, sound, 4’22″.

Once vital to urban hydraulic systems and vibrant residential areas, Phnom Penh’s lakes are now privatized by the Cambodian government, filled with sand, and turned into contested eviction sites. In rebellious response and to create awareness, the artist stood in these lakes at different stages of their “development,” to pour buckets of sand over his head. His poignant gesture serves as a document for posterity of this complex environmental, infrastructural, and humanitarian concern.

About the artist:

Khvay Samnang’s multidisciplinary practice spans performance, photography, video, installation and sculpture. Prompted by instinct and hearsay, direct experience and media sources, Khvay follows stories he believes require intervention. With symbolic and intentionally futile gestures, he offers new interpretations of history and contentious current affairs that resist the polarizing language known to media and legal reports. Khvay is currently a resident at Bethenian Kunstlerhaus, Berlin. In 2015, he was nominated for the AIMIA AGO Photography Prize, Canada; the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong; and Prudential Eye Awards Best Emerging Artist in Asia Using Photography, Singapore.