MAS­TERS AT WORK

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In­tro­duc­ing Cam­bo­dia's most renowned con­tem­po­rary artists

CON­TEM­PO­RARY ART IS FLOUR­ISH­ING IN CAM­BO­DIA, AND WHETHER YOU’RE A PO­TEN­TIAL BUYER OR A FAS­CI­NATED NEW­COMER, TH­ESE ARTISTS ARE A CRIT­I­CAL IN­TRO­DUC­TION TO THE SCENE

Leang Seckon

A for­mer stu­dent at Cam­bo­dia's Royal Univer­sity of Fine Arts, Seckon uses his art­work to ex­plore Kh­mer his­tory, cul­ture, death and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. His work has been dis­played ex­ten­sively in South­east Asia, as well as at venues in the US and Europe. Seckon is fa­mous for an ex­ten­sive use of mixed me­dia and col­lage tech­niques, jux­ta­pos­ing tra­di­tional sym­bols and mo­tifs against con­tem­po­rary fig­ures and events. His work “Bang Skol” epit­o­mises th­ese tech­niques, re­flect­ing his own strug­gle to come to terms with the coun­try's tur­bu­lent past and en­croach­ing moder­nity.

Sokun­tevy Oeur

Bat­tam­bang-born Oeur's work has drawn much in­ter­est, largely due to her im­mense skill with a paint­brush, but also thanks to her sta­tus as ar­guably Cam­bo­dia's most prom­i­nent fe­male con­tem­po­rary artist.

Her work is stylis­ti­cally surreal and en­tails an im­pas­sioned ex­plo­ration of fe­male sex­u­al­ity and em­pow­er­ment. Her 2010 se­ries Love to Death was par­tic­u­larly bold in its rep­re­sen­ta­tion of sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ence – one piece dis­played a fe­male fig­ure mount­ing her lover while hold­ing a raised ma­chete, ready to strike. Her work shines a light on gen­der is­sues in the coun­try and has seen her hailed as part of a van­guard help­ing to shift at­ti­tudes to­ward women.

Sopheap Pich

Per­haps Cam­bo­dia's most in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned con­tem­po­rary artist, Pich was born in 1971 and moved with his fam­ily to the US in 1984, where he re­ceived an MFA at the School of the Art In­sti­tute in Chicago. Re­turn­ing to Cam­bo­dia in 2002, he set to work cre­at­ing sculp­tures from in­dige­nous ma­te­ri­als such as bam­boo, rat­tan and earth pig­ments. His ex­pe­ri­ence of the Kh­mer Rouge years has a pro­found in­flu­ence on his work, shap­ing his cho­sen themes of time, mem­ory and the body. His sculp­tures have been dis­played at some of the world's most re­spected gal­leries, in­clud­ing New York's Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art and the Cen­tre Ge­orges Pom­pi­dou in Paris.

Ch­him Sothy

Sothy was born in Kan­dal prov­ince in 1969, mak­ing him old enough to have truly ex­pe­ri­enced the hor­rors in­flicted by the Kh­mer Rouge regime in the 1970s. He honed his skills as a stu­dent at the Royal Univer­sity of

Fine Arts in the 1990s, and to­day his works fuse Kh­mer tra­di­tion­al­ism with Euro­pean paint­ing. Con­flict­ing themes of de­vel­op­ment, con­struc­tion, hard­ship and in­equal­ity res­onate in his paint­ings, and his work has been ex­hib­ited in South­east Asia, Paris and the US. So re­spected is the artist that he now holds a po­si­tion within the Cam­bo­dian Min­istry of Cul­ture and Fine Arts.

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