Preah Kunlong (Monkey)

Khvay Samnang

Medium: Digital C-Print , giclee print on paper, Dibond, Edition no. 4/5
Size of work: 80 x 120 cm

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Preah Kunlong emerges out of the artist’s engagement with the Chong communities of Areng Valley in the South-west of Cambodia. Khvay worked with various members of the Chong community through workshops and continued conversation to develop a series of masks made from local vines that represented a group of non-human beings that were central to the cosmology of the Chong people. Samnang collaborated with traditionally-trained dancer and choreographer Rady Nget to produce choreographies in a number of sacred locations around the valley. In this photography work, Samnang asked the dancer to wear the mask of monkey danced around the Areng River near the monkey’s habitat and where the dam was supposed to build.

About the Artist

Khvay Samnang was born in 1982 in Svay Rieng, Cambodia. He graduated from the Painting Department at the Royal University of Fine Art in Phnom Penh, where he lives and works today. Khvay's multidisciplinary practice offers new views on historical and current events and traditional cultural rituals using humorous, symbolic gestures. His work, which includes all media, focuses on the humanitarian and ecological impacts of colonialism and globalization. The development of each body of work is based on thorough research and investigation of local specificities, structures, and conditions. Traveling is a crucial tool for his practice. Engaging directly and personally with local communities – within and beyond the cultural scene – is an integral part of his work, making it highly relevant, critical and connectable to various contemporary discourses. His work shows a remarkable ability to engage with cultural and geographic contexts and spatial and institutional settings.

Khvay Samnang is among the most promising up-and-coming international artists. His prestigious exhibition and grant portfolio prove his outstanding artistic significance. His solo exhibitions include A Forest of Spirit, Nova Contemporary Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand; Khvay Samnang "Preah Kunlong" & "Where is my land?", Batia Sarem Gallery, Siem Reap, Cambodia; Capsule 10: Khvay Samnang, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2019); Where is my land?, Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh (2017); Bloom Projects Exchange Series, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, USA (2016); The Pacific Project: Khvay Samnang, Orange County Museum of Art, CA, USA; Footprints of Yantra Man, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany, Enjoy My Sand, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Rubber Man, Jeu de Paume, Paris, CAPC Bordeaux, France (2015); Human Nature, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore (2014); and Newspaper Man, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2012).