Khvay Samnang »
Love of the Land
Exhibition: – 29 Oct 2022
Sat 1 Oct 18:00 - 20:00
Tomio Koyama Gallery
6-5-24 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present “Love of the Land,” a solo exhibition of works by internationally renowned Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang, taking place concurrently across two venues in Tomio Koyama Galley Roppongi and Tomio Koyama Gallery Tennoz.
The exhibit at Roppongi features photographs and video works from the series “Popil” (2018), while the show at Tennoz introduces the 2021 video work “Calling for Rain.” Both works will be presented in Japan for the first time.
About Khvay Samnang: One of Cambodia’s most internationally renowned contemporary artists who took part in Documenta 14 and 15, raising questions towards the current situation of Cambodia with an air of sarcasm, light-heartedness, and humour
Khvay Samnang was born in 1982 in Cambodia. He graduated from the Painting Department at the Royal University of Fine Art in Phnom Penh in 2006. He is also active as a member of the artist collective “Sa Sa Art Projects.”
In creating his works, Khvay spends extensive amounts of time on-site engaging with local communities in his effort to research and gain insight on the profound social issues that Cambodia confronts.
While exploring new perspectives and interpretations of history, he serves to sarcastically, light-heartedly, and humorously present multiple layers of meaning through a variety of means including sculptures that incorporate native materials, installations, video art, as well as performances in which he uses his own body.
His photographic and video work “Untitled” (2011) shows the artist pouring sand over himself in Phnom Penh’s lakes, saddened by the fact that the lake he used to play as a child had been reclaimed for development by the rich, resulting in the destruction of the natural environment and the forced eviction of the many families that had resided there.
For the performance piece “Cow Taxi at Asakusa” (2010), Khvay pulled a simple rickshaw around the city offering free rides to passers-by, while wearing outsized buffalo horns sculpted from human hair collected at roadside barbers in Phnom Penh. Conceived in part with reference to the robam trot, a Cambodian folk dance traditionally performed to bring good luck to a house before New Year, the work was enacted toward the conclusion of a residency at Tokyo Wonder Site, intended by the artist to serve as a gesture of thanks towards Japan.
Furthermore, in “Enjoy My Sand” (2013-2015) the artist films himself meeting people on a beach in Singapore made from reclaimed sand imported from Cambodia. Such works that offer questions in creative and stimulating ways typical of a young Cambodian artist of his generation, have continued to attract significant attention throughout the world.
Khvay is highly recognized for his international activities as an artist, presenting solo exhibitions in venues such as the Jeu de Paume (Paris, France 2015), CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (France, 2015), and Haus der Kunst, Munich (Germany, 2018), and taking part in numerous international group exhibitions including his participation in the 2017 and 2022 Documenta (as a member of Sa Sa Art Projects). This year, he will also participate in “Kinan Art Week 2022,” which takes place in the Wakayama prefecture from October 6 to 16.
His works are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Singapore Art Museum, and KfW Bankengruppe, Germany, among others.