Archives par mot-clé : Art contemporain

Symposium: Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Arts of Asia

Symposium: Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Arts of Asia, 09/11/2017, Department of Art & Art History, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

About the Talk

Modern and contemporary artists in Asia have had to cope with many challenges, from the influx of Western artistic priorities often intent on redefining or even erasing local artistic traditions, to the wholesale destruction of national infrastructure through unstable political systems and devastating wars. That artists have successfully risen to these challenges, as well as the resilience of local artistic systems and values, is eminently manifest in the vibrant contemporary arts of Asia today.

This symposium will explore the inspirational potential of traditional materials, methods, and styles of art making among modern and contemporary artists of India, China, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. It will feature illustrated presentations by three eminent scholars of modern and contemporary Asian art, followed by a moderated discussion, all focusing on the various ways regional “traditions” of art and culture function as inspiration, catalyst, or foil, some times honoring them, other times contrasting and even undermining them, often with humorous or ironic intent.

Speakers & Presentation Titles

headshot of Joan Kee

Joan Kee, “Tradition as ‘Contemporaneity’s Raw Materials’: Korea, China, and the Philippines”
Kee is an art historian specializing in art and law, with special research focus on modern and contemporary East and Southeast Asian art. She teaches at the University of Michigan, where she is Associate Professor in the History of Art. She is author of Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013), curated the exhibition From All Sides: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014), and serves as contributing editor to Artforum.

headshot of Sonal Khullar

Sonal Khullar, “The Pearl Divers and Shipwrecks of Marine Drive: History, Tradition, and Modernism in India.” Khullar is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Washington. Her research focus is on Indian art of the eighteenth century to the present, with additional teaching and research interests in transnational histories of art, feminist theory, and postcolonial studies. Publications include the award-winning Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990 (2015).

Headshot of Iola Lenzi

Iola Lenzi, ““Not Nostalgia: How Tradition is Critically Co-opted in Thai and Vietnamese Contemporary Art” Lenzi is a Singapore-based curator, lecturer, and critic specializing in contemporary arts of Southeast Asia. She has curated exhibitions in in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok, serves as lecturer for the Asian Art Histories MA program at Lasalle College, Singapore, and as regional correspondent for Asian Art, London. She is author of Museums of Southeast Asia (2005).

Plus d’informations sur : http://www.cseashawaii.org/event/symposium-tradition-and-contemporaneity-in-the-arts-of-asia/

 

Voices of Transition : Contemporary Art from Myanmar

Exhibition : Voices of Transition : Contemporary Art from Myanmar, 16/11/2017 – 03/12/2017, Lunn + Sgarbossa Gallery, Londres

Lunn+Sgarbossa presents ‘Voices of Transition: Contemporary Art from Myanmar’, an exhibition of unprecedented size, scale and scholarly ambition in Europe to display contemporary artists from Myanmar.

In our curation, we aim to communicate the dynamic experiences of artists in Myanmar from the inception of contemporary art in Myanmar in the 1980’s to the present day. Our title – ‘Voices of Transition’ – demonstrates our enquiry into the transitional context for contemporary artists, understanding the oppression of state censorship, and how artists have boldly fought to have their voices heard. We also place the work in a broader, non-artistic context and challenge the reality of the often quoted ‘transition to democracy’ of Myanmar post-2015. In essence, ‘Voices of Transition’ asks how we reconcile individual voices and national context, in order to understand societal ‘transition’.

Visitors to the exhibition will be exposed to a carefully curated set of media and practises. Moe Satt (b. 1983) presents his captivating video-art ‘Hands around in Yangon’ (2017), which deals poignantly with the daily tasks of many pairs of hands, revealing through its hypnotic pace the inner-workings of a day in the life of Yangon. Aye Ko (b.1963), winner of the Joseph Balestier Freedom of the Art’s Prize 2017, prints striking and tortured self-depictions, through which we are able to reflect on his time as a political prisoner. Nge Lay’s (b.1979) visceral and disarming photography explores the effects of time on the bodies of the female role models from her personal life, illustrating a central curatorial tenet of the exhibition, the departure of the old and the emergence of a new generation.

The exhibition will display major new works from the ‘father of Burmese modern art’, artist Aung Myint (b.1946), whose artworks have been collected by the Guggenheim. Until the 2000s, the colours red and gold were largely censored in art and film for political and religious reasons. Aung Myint’s use of colour and reinterpretation of traditional calligraphic and mural techniques are radical acts of rebellion. Acclaimed performance artists from Myanmar will be performing in person at the exhibition. Performance art, requiring minimal tools beyond the artist’s own body, has been a crucial medium of social-political participation, protest and solidarity in the struggle for a democratic Myanmar. While paintings can be symbolic, performance art is a direct action of defiance.

Lire la suite sur : https://www.lunnsgarbossa.com/current/

Southeast Asia Stakes Its Claim in the Art World

Htein Lin’s “A Show of Hands,” 2013–present, features hundreds of white plaster casts of raised right hands, each one an index of a political prisoner like himself. Credit Maria Baranova-Suzuki

Southeast Asia Stakes Its Claim in the Art World by Jason Farago, 27/09/2017, New York Times

Until recently — the 1990s, let’s say — an American critic keeping tabs on new art would concentrate on New York’s museums and galleries; cast an occasional, often dismissive eye on Western Europe; and perhaps try to visit Los Angeles now and again. No longer. By the ’90s the idea of a single avant-garde was dead and buried, and in its place arose a pluralist art ecosystem that spans the planet. It makes larger intellectual demands than ever, and requires us to accept that we’ll never see everything or understand it completely. In the new global art world, even we New Yorkers are provincials.

Perhaps nowhere benefited as much from this shift to a pluralist art world as Asia, where the 1990s saw an explosion of biennials and triennials. The Gwangju Biennale, Asia’s most important such exhibition, began in 1995 in South Korea, and was soon followed by large-scale shows in Shanghai, Taipei, Fukuoka, Yokohama, Singapore, Jakarta, and a half dozen other Asian megacities — all of which introduced Asian audiences to foreign art and pushed their own region’s figures to the international forefront. In these exhibitions, as well as in the new museums and art schools that arose around them, traditional styles of painting, drawing, pottery or calligraphy fell by the wayside, and installation, video and performance served as lingua franca.

The art in “After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History,” at the Asia Society on Park Avenue, is the fruit of this global shift. The work here comes from Indonesia, Myanmar (or Burma) and Vietnam, though with just seven artists and one collective, it’s small enough to avoid the curse of the “regional show” and doesn’t force any unity on a diverse lineup. Not every work here is a masterpiece, but all of them plumb the roiling past and fractured present of places that, with a combined population of nearly 400 million, we have no excuse to be clueless about.

Lire la suite et voir les oeuvres sur : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/arts/design/southeast-asian-art-asia-society.html

 

Southeast of Now, vol. 1, n° 2, October 2017

Southeast of Now : Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia,  vol. 1, n° 2, October 2017

Numéro en libre accès

Table of contents

  • Editorial : Discomfort

Articles

  • Felicitous « Misalignments »: Bagyi Aung Soe’s Manaw Maheikdi Dat Pangyi by Yin Ker
  • The Painting of Prostitutes in Indonesian Modern Art by Matt Cox
  • Rites of Change: Artistic Responses to Recent Street Protests in Kuala Lumpur by Fiona Lee
  • The Third Avant-garde: Messages of Discontent by Leonor Veiga

Curatorial Intervention

  • Queering Postnational Tendencies in Contemporary Art from Thailand by Brian Curtin

Translations

  • « We Know Where We Will Be Taking Indonesian Art », 1948 by Sindudarsono Sudjojono translated by Brigitta Isabella
  • « Untitled Letter to Editor », Jakarta, 25 December 1942 by Sindudarsono Sudjojono translated by Matt Cox

Review

  • Michelle Antoinette, « Reworlding Art History: Contemporary Southeast Asian Art after 1990 » by Clare Veal

Short Response

  • A Flimsy Image: A Case Study for Learning to Listen by Fiona Amundsen

Articles à télécharger sur : https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/37275

 

‘Land of Freedom’: Heri Dono’s First Solo Exhibition in Hong Kong

« Joko Tarub Bathe in the Lake, Attacked by Terrorists, Protected by 7 Bidadari » (2016) by Heri Dono. Image courtesy of the artist and Tang Contemporary Art

« Land of Freedom » : Heri Dono’s First Solo Exhibition in Hong Kong by Valencia Tong, 07/07/2017, the Artling

As one of Indonesia’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Heri Dono is known for his satirical political commentary in his paintings and installations. Earlier on, The Artling interviewed the Yogyakarta-based artist back in 2015 during his residency at STPI in Singapore, before his solo installation at the Indonesian Pavillion for the Venice Biennale. Fast-forward to 2017, Heri Dono is showing his works at Tang Contemporary Art in his first solo gallery exhibition in Hong Kong.

The artworks on view seem humorous at first glance, yet they deal with serious sociopolitical issues, such as those in the Brexit and Trump era. To illustrate the complexities of the global political scene, strange-looking mythological creatures are juxtaposed against political caricatures. In Super Trump – Land, US president Donald Trump is depicted as a superhero-like figure with three eyes.

The artist, born in 1960 in Jakarta, Indonesia, is inspired by wayang kulit, a form of traditional shadow puppet play in Indonesia. Symbols of animals, mythological beasts, machines, spaceships and parodies of world leaders are commonly found in his work.

Lire la suite sur : https://theartling.com/en/artzine/2017/07/07/land-of-freedom-heri-donos-first-solo-exhibition-in-hong-kong/

Deep South ‘Patani arts’ opens in the North

« Deep South ‘Patani arts’ opens in the North » by Kong Rithdee, 20/07/2017, Bangkok Post

A major contemporary art exhibition about the Deep South is on display at a museum in Chiang Mai, one of the biggest gatherings of artists from the region, with the addition of others whose works touch on the stories of conflicts and violence in the southernmost provinces.

« Patani Semasa » opened last night at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai. It features 27 artists who work in painting, photography, installation pieces and video art.

The majority are from « Patani », the generic and historic name of the provinces of the Deep South. Many are women, and while the exhibition generally showcases the development of contemporary art in the region, the dominant theme at this show is the loss, reflection and hope that come with the protracted unrest plaguing the region for decades, particularly since 2004.

Lire la suite sur : http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/art/1290594/deep-south-patani-arts-opens-in-the-north

 

Thai Art Archives

Thai Art Archives

Thai Art Archives is an independent, not-for-profit « knowledge platform » for the recovery, study, preservation, and exhibition of Thai modern and contemporary art and ephemera.

Welcome to Thailand’s only heritage-preservation organization that actively identifies, collects, catalogues, preserves, and exhibits the historically valuable ephemera—professional documents, personal papers, photographs, notebooks, sketchbooks and other studio-based items—of Thailand’s renowned modern and contemporary artists, independent/artist-run (« alternative ») art spaces, and related Thai “avant-garde” phenomena.

Unlike primary works of art, such as painting and sculpture, comparatively “ephemeral” materials are frequently lost or destroyed on the passing of a prominent Thai artist, or even during her/his lifetime. Given this potential loss to Thai cultural heritage, the Thai Art Archives’ mission is to proactively identify, recover, study, document, and preserve such materials for the benefit of future generations.

  • Exhibitions (Modern & Contemporary)
  • Educational & Public Events/Programs
  • Curatorial & Museum Studies for University Students
  • Student Internships
  • Knowledge Hub & Research Platform
  • Residencies for Visiting Scholars
  • Oral History Initiative
  • Publications, Special Projects, Cataloguing
  • Cataloguing of Private Collections

The Thai Art Archives aims in all its programs to explore and enrich cultural exchange, to promote global access to transcultural histories, and to encourage regional and international dialogues over the research into, the writing, and the documentation of diverse perspectives on the most progressive currents in modern and contemporary art since the early 20th century to the present.

A explorer sur : http://www.thaiartarchives.mono.net/

Passion and procession : art of the Philippines

Passion and procession : art of the Philippines, 24/06/2017 – 12/11/2017, Art Gallery New South Wales

Celebrating the diverse and vibrant art of the Philippines.

Passion and procession brings together painting, sculpture, video and installation works from ten contemporary Filipino artists, revealing their very personal responses to faith, history, politics and life in the Philippines.

The works draw on folk mythology, family archives, nature and religious ceremony to reconsider established narratives of history and nation. The artists have used found as well as ritual objects, plant specimens and symbols of precolonial histories to address the ambiguities of faith and science, social inequality and relationship to place. In doing so, they demonstrate a belief in the potential of art to inspire, heal and effect social change.

The artists include Santiago Bose, Marina Cruz, Alfredo Esquillo Jr, Nona Garcia, Renato Habulan, Geraldine Javier, Mark Justiniani, Alwin Reamillo, Norberto Roldan and Rodel Tapaya.

Accompanying their works is a selection of textiles and sculptural objects from the Philippines given to the Gallery in 2005 by Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter.

This exhibition is part of the Bayanihan Philippine Art Project, a collaboration between the Art Gallery of NSW, Blacktown Arts Centre, Mosman Art Gallery, Peacock Gallery (Auburn) and Campbelltown Arts Centre in association with Museums & Galleries of NSW, to celebrate the art and culture of the Philippines through a series of exhibitions, performances, creative writing and community programs across multiple venues.

The last issue of TAASA Review : The Journal of the Asian Arts Society of Australia (vol. 26, n° 2, June 2017) is dedicated to the Bayanihan Philippine Art Project, and the art and culture of the Philippines.

Voir : https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/passion-and-procession/

Photographing the Soul of Cambodia: Interview with Sophal Neak

Photographing the Soul of Cambodia: Interview with Sophal Neak by Francesca Masoero, 04/07/2017 in ArtAsiaPacific

Sophal Neak was born in Takeo, a province in southern Cambodia, in 1989. Since 2011, her works—in particular her photographs—have been showcased across Asia, Europe and Australia. Her unique and uncompromising take on history and people, as well as her distinctive and powerful vision, has played an important role in contributing to the cultural re-awakening of her country. In an interview with ArtAsiaPacific, the photographer discusses her art and creative processes, her take on gender in Cambodia and more.

“Flowers,” your most recent exhibition, is currently being showcased in Phnom Penh, but your work has travelled quite a bit across the globe. How do you feel about the fact that your photographs are allowing more people to get to know Cambodia?

Allowing people outside Cambodia to understand the complexity of my country is really important, but I’d actually like my work to serve as a certain reminder for the Khmer people as well. Most Cambodians tend to stick with the traditional culture and perceptions. This includes, for example, that women have to be young and beautiful, or that they have to cook and have children. By drawing attention to these concepts in my work, I try to raise the awareness of viewers and invite them to move forward from these ideas.

Lire la suite sur : http://artasiapacific.com/Blog/PhotographingTheSoulOfCambodiaInterviewWithSophalNeak

Sunshower : Contemporary art from Southeast Asia 1980’s to now

« Sunshower : Contemporary art from Southeast Asia 1980’s to now », 05/07/2017 – 23/10/2017, The National Art Center, Tokyo & Mori Art Museum

With its total population counting around 600 million, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-faith Southeast Asia has nurtured a truly dynamic and diverse culture. Contemporary art from the emerging economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia is currently earning widespread international attention. The “sunshower” – rain falling from clear skies – is an intriguing yet frequently-seen meteorological phenomenon in Southeast Asia, and serves as a metaphor for the vicissitudes of the region. This exhibition, the largest-ever in scale, seeks to explore the many practices of contemporary art in Southeast Asia since 1980s from 9 different perspectives. It aims to showcase its inconceivable dynamism of Southeast Asia that is somewhat nostalgic yet extraordinarily new.

Nine sections :  Fluid World, Passion and Revolution, Archiving, Diverse Identities, Day by Day, Growth and Loss, What is Art ? Why Do It ?, Medium as Meditation, Dialogue with History.

Voir la liste des artistes par pays, les oeuvres et le programme des discussions sur :  http://sunshower2017.jp/en/index.html

« Sunshower »Brings Flowers with this Major Exhibition of 180 Southeast Asian Artworks

« Stormy Weather » (2009) by Filipino artist Felix Bacolor (Image courtesy of @katrinav_)

« Sunshower Brings Flowers with this Major Exhibition of 180 Southeast Asian Artworks » by Yunyi Lau, 08/07/2017, The Artling

The tropical climate of Southeast Asia lends for torrential downpours across the year. For those not used to the weather, one can be shocked to find what was a pleasantly sunny day, suddenly turn into a very wet situation in under a minute. Known as a sunshower, this frequent meteorological phenomenon in the region is the paradox of rain falling from clear skies.

It is this phenomenon that has been the inspiration behind a major show of Southeast Asian Contemporary Art that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The sunshower is a poetic metaphor for the developments within Southeast Asia that resulted from the post-WWII decolonisation. Despite the turmoil that many countries were thrown into, many experienced democratisation and globalisation that caused rapid economic and urban development, resulting in drastic changes that have since changed the socio-political landscape of the region.

Sunshower originally began as an idea conceived between the Director-General of the National Art Center, Tokyo and the Director of the Mori Art Museum, and was assented by The Japan Foundation. The three parties came together to set up a 14-member curatorial team, which conducted a two and a half year field research, culminating in a selection of about 180 artworks by 86 artist groups from the ten ASEAN member countries, exhibited across the two museums.

Through the works selected, the exhibition seeks to explore the development of contemporary art in Southeast Asia since the 1980s against the backdrop of the currents and fluctuations of the times from nine different perspectives, with the goal of capturing its dynamism and diversity. Below is a selection of some of the works that we suggest you check out if you plan on checking out the exhibition!

The nine sections that Sunshower is divided into include: Fluid World that looks at maps and how they reflect socio-poltical economic values, Passion and Revolution that focuses on some of the major wars that shaped the region, Archiving that looks at the development of document-collection in Southeast Asian art, Diverse Identities focuses on postcolonialism and the emergence of independence and democracy, Day by Day is a look at artists’ exploration of local everyday life, Growth and Loss is the observation of the changes of globalisation and urbanisation that have impacted Southeast Asia, What is Art? Why Do It? is a look at the development of institutions and the characteristics of the art community in the region, Medium as Meditation focuses on how local traditional culture has affected the way artists use materials as their museums, and finally, Dialogue with History is an exploration into how artists engage with their histories in the present day.

A voir sur : https://theartling.com/en/artzine/2017/07/03/sunshowers-bring-flowers-with-this-major-exhibition-of-180-southeast-asian-artworks/

Myanmar contemporary art 1

Launch: Myanmar Contemporary Art 1

Now available for purchase at Myanmart! After 2 years of hard work and many brilliant collaborators and donors, the translation, redesign and publication of Myanmar Contemporary Art 1 (MCA1) is complete! Originally published in Burmese language in 2009 under censorship, the new edition was raised through crowdfunding. We hope this book allows more people to learn about and understand a part of Myanmar's art history between 1960-1990.30 USD per book/40,000 MMK. Special discount for artists! All proceeds go towards a future publication of a book about contemporary art in Myanmar. Copies available at Myanmart – 98 Bogalay Zay street, 3rd floor, Botataung township, Yangon OR by special order. Please email nathalie.johnston@gmail.com for more details or message us here.

Publié par Myanm/art sur dimanche 2 juillet 2017

 

Myanmar Contemporary Art 1 : traduction anglaise d’un ouvrage publié en birman en 2009 sous la censure et consacré à l’histoire de l’art birman entre 1960 et 1990. Il sera suivi de deux autres volumes.

Myanmar Contemporary Art 1 is the first volume of a trilogy on contemporary Burmese art.  Since 1885, when Burma fell under British colonial rule, the traditional practices of Burmese art were overshadowed by the influence of Western art trends–particularly the traditions of academic painting and the Impressionist movement.  This book records the progression of Burmese modern art after its encounter with Modernism, focusing on the influence of key individual artists.   Democratic rule ended in 1962, and between 1974 and 1988, when Modernism was evolving to a Post-Modern world, Burma adopted a strict isolationist policy during which only three books on art were published:  The Quest for Beauty by Paw Thit, From Tradition to Modern by Bagyi Aung Soe and Abstract Painting by Khin One.  The end of the closed door policy in 1988 allowed for artists to gain perspective on the international art world and embrace new developments and media.  Artists who worked outside the trajectory of Burmese modern art movements such as Lun Gywe, Maung Nyo Wing, Maung Maung Hla Myint and Tun Sein are also included in the book, as well as those who left to work in other countries (See the chapter « Some early practitioners »).   This volume focuses on modern artists active from 1962 to 1988.  The next volume of Myanmar Contemporary Art will focus on the artists who came after 1988.

Voir : https://www.facebook.com/MyanmarArtEvolution/?

Copies available at Myanmart – 98 Bogalay Zay street, 3rd floor, Botataung township, Yangon OR by special order. Please email nathalie.johnston@gmail.com for more details or message us here.

 

 

Place, Time and Media in Performance Art in Indonesia

Arahmaiani Feisal (1961- ), No More Shadow Play ;Courtesy of the artist.

Thomas J. Berghuis, Place, Time and Media in Performance Art in Indonesia, 25/05/2017, SOAS

Description

This seminar introduces the development of performance art in Indonesia, from the 1980s until the present day. It considers ways in which performance art in Indonesia has its art historical origins in the conceptual art movement of the 1970s, when artists across Southeast Asia began to consider new social and artistic realities in their artworks. But the the seminar will also draw on the multiple interwoven strands of performance practices and performance traditions that connect the development of contemporary performance art in Indonesia.

The seminar will examine the role of performance art in Indonesia in relation to place, time and media. Artists whose works will be examined include Arahmaiani, Heri Dono, FX Harsono, Mella Jaarsma, Tisna Sanjaya, Melati, Iwan Wijono, W. Christiawan, Mimi Fadmi, Redza Afisina, and Performance Club 69 — a recently established platform for study and practices of performance art initiated by Forum Lenteng in Jakarta, starting in 2016.

About the speaker

Dr. Thomas J. Berghuis is currently a Visiting Fellow at Tate Research Centre: Asia. He is Principal Fellow (Honorary) with the School of Culture and Communication at The University of Melbourne in Australia and is currently based in Leiden, the Netherlands. An art historian and curator of contemporary Asian art, with focus on contemporary art in China and Indonesia, Berghuis previously worked as Lecturer in Asian Art History at the University of Sydney (2008-2013); The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art (2013-2015) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; and Director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) in Jakarta, Indonesia (2015-2016). Berghuis’ writings have been published in prominent journals and art magazines. He is the author of Performance Art in China (Hong Kong: Timezone 8, 2006).

Voir : https://www.soas.ac.uk/art/events/contemporary-arts-research-seminar/25may2017-place-time-and-media-in-performance-art-in-indonesia.html

Feminisms and Contemporary Art in Indonesia : defining experiences

Wulan Dirgantoro, Feminisms and Contemporary Art in Indonesia : defining experiences, Amsterdam University Press, 2017

While Indonesian contemporary art is currently on the rise on the international art scene, there hasn’t yet been an in-depth study of the works of Indonesian women artists and the feminist strategies they employ within the art world. This book fills that gap, presenting the first comprehensive study of feminisms and contemporary arts in Indonesia, using feminist readings to analyze the works of Indonesian women artists historically and today, illuminating the sociocultural contexts in which they have worked and offering a nuanced understanding of local feminisms in the nation.

Table des matières sur : http://en.aup.nl/books/9789089648457-feminisms-and-contemporary-art-in-indonesia.html

New photo exhibition takes on Cambodian gender double standards

An image from Neak Sophal’s Flower series. Photo supplied

New photo exhibition takes on Cambodian gender double standards by Anna Koo, 05/05/2017, The Phnom Penh Post

Neak Sophal’s Flower opens at Java Café and Gallery at 6:30pm on Tuesday, May 9. The exhibition, which will be displayed on the second floor of the café, runs through June 25.

The series, which was the product of six months work, is based on a Khmer saying that compares women to white paper and men to gold. If gold were dropped in the mud, the saying goes, it could be polished and cleaned and will never tarnish.

White paper, meanwhile, gets permanently stained and, once considered dirty, no longer has value. The proverb is a not-so-subtle reminder of the need for women to behave themselves sexually, or else they “lose their value”.

“If you are virginal, you are a valued woman. If you don’t have it, you are not a good woman . . . For me, it is an unacceptable comparison, because women and men are human and we live together,” she says.

Gender studies has long been a subject of interest for the 28-year-old Royal University of Fine Arts graphic design graduate. Her distinctive conceptual style results in work that often serves as social commentary, highlighting what she sees as invisible social issues in Cambodian culture.

She won the Photo Prize at the Angkor Photo Festival in 2013 with her exhibition The Hang On, featuring subjects from all walks of life in Cambodia with their faces obscured by objects, usually related to their jobs, which have overtaken their identity.

In Sophal’s images, the subjects are framed by flowers a motif inspired by the frequent comparisons in songs, movies and stories of women to flowers. She then drops paint on the photograph to produce her final product, to prove that stains do not always have to be dirty and can be an element of beauty itself…

Lire la suite sur : http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/new-photo-exhibition-takes-cambodian-gender-double-standards