Light at the End of the Tunnel
Graffiti by Sosoth Sovankong
April 27 – June 3, 2018
Exhibition opening 6:30pm Friday, 27 April 2018.
Java Creative Café Toul Kork
“It’s about my feeling and working on these artworks. And I see it as meditation instead of a job. When I get the feeling that the works are enough, then it’s the finish point.” –Sosoth Sovankong
Inspired by graffiti, Sosoth Sovankong is a self-taught artist with passion, commitment and love for the artwork. He enjoys and cares more about the process than the result itself.
Exploring various artistic practices, Sovankong’s technique is drawn from graffiti, contemporary and abstract art. He is constantly experimenting, driven by an artistic curiosity and inquiry into material, space and surfaces. The street is where he often works, and it is where he finds his materials. He gathers discarded items that he uses to create his paintings and installations. When working on canvas, he uses thin cotton donated from his artist friends, and leftover paints and brushes from others who threw them away.
For this exhibition, Sovankong will re-create the spirit of street art inside the gallery space. For one part he will spray paint the wall and install corrugated iron that he has worked on and altered with his artistic vision. These works are specifically inspired by Sanskrit script and European graffiti artists. The other part is a series of paintings inspired by the Buddhist philosophical concept of nature and humanization, the Four Noble Truths: “Born, Growing old, Sick and Death.”
Consistent across all the works presented in this exhibition are the artist’s reflections on the universe, nature, time, and space. By doing so, he proposes a question to the audience about the works; Why did he make it? What’s the meaning of it?
The exhibition will include a public program of a walkthrough with the artist and artist talk on Saturday 19 May 2018 at 2.30 pm at Java Toul Kork. The talk is moderated by Meta Moeng, Creative Producer of Creative Generation.
Sosoth Sovankong (b. 1998, Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia)
He studies Civil Engineering and is also an intern at Sa Sa Art Projects (SSAP). Recently, in 2018, he was a consultant for The Fabric Wall Art Installation at The Factory Phnom Penh. In 2017, he was an Assistant and graffiti artist for PAINT PHNOM PENH Project at The Factory Phnom Penh. In the same year, he was the main actor in Sok Chan Rado’s “White Wall,” ashort film-selected for screening at the Chaktomuk Film Festival 2017.
He lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Photography by Khiev Kanel
June 9 – July 15, 2018.
Exhibition opening 6:30pm Saturday, 9 June 2018
Java Creative Café Toul Kork
This exhibition is inspired by the history of The White Building, originally known as the Municipal Apartments, which was a large and prominent apartment building comprised of 468 apartments in Phnom Penh during the 1960s. It was one of the major works of New Khmer Architecture designed by Cambodian architect Lu Ban Hap and Russian architect Vladimir. It was a 450-metre (1,480 ft) long architectural composition on Samdach Sothearos Boulevard near the Bassac River. It was built in 1963 as a symbol of modernism in Cambodia and part of a large composition of civic buildings.
Through the visual device of staircases, this series of images will bring you back to the moment when the community was preparing to move out in July 2017 in advance of the demolition of the entire building complex. For Staircase (2017), Kanel spent time documenting the moments of the community life and the transition from their homes of almost 500 families still living in the White Building. Following his visual observation, he found the staircasesto be a very special space in the building and focused on the life of these in-between environments. Besides the designed function, they become communal spaces where people hangout, chitchat, a playground for kids, a place to sell goods, run a nail salon and so on. In viewing these works, the staircases are a literal and symbolic connection that joins the building together from floor to floor, facilitating interactions and relations between people. It reveals the value of communal spaces while their activities are a compelling scene in the theater of life of the White Building.
In August 2017, the building was completely demolished and apparently the building is to be replaced by a 21-storey mixed-use development.
The exhibition will include a public program of a walkthrough with the artist and artist talk on Saturday 23 June 2018 at 3.00pm at Java Toul Kork. The talk is moderated by Ms. Meta Moeng, Creative Producer of Creative Generation.
Khiev Kanel (Born 1988, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
He holds two Bachelor degrees (Computer Science and Accounting) and Master degree of Auditing. Currently, he is a Senior Core Banking Officer (Banker) at one of the microfinance institutes in Cambodia. He has been interested in photography since 2013. With the passion and inspiration of becoming a professional photographer he has joined several workshops and photography classes: portrait photography workshop, fashion photography workshop, night photography workshop, architecture photography workshop and two international photography workshops including South East Asia Master Class of Obscura Photo Festival in Penang and Angkor Photo Festival & workshop. His works have been exhibited at the Institute Française du Cambodge, Photo Phnom Penh Festival 2017, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and soon the Philippines. Beside photography, he is also interested in performing art, of which he has attended several of workshops as well. Presently, Kanel is well known among young photographers in Cambodia who are passionate in telling stories through documentary photography. More information: https://khievkanel.wixsite.com/kanel
Painting by Tyl Kan
Saturday 21 July – Sunday 26 August 2018
Opening exhibition: Saturday 21 July, 2018 at 6.30 pm.
Java Creative Café, Toul Kork.
“I want to show their real stories, no matter what happens you are still human, own what you can not change. I think it’s really very powerful because you accept the fact and you live with it,” Tyl Kan.
Insecure feelings cause people a lot of emotional pain and lead to low self-esteem. These works are specifically influenced from the lives of people around Tyl Kan. As part of her artistic process she collected personal and intimate stories of people close to her forming the narratives of this series of paintings. By illustrating these personal stories, Tyl believes that it can influence people to take a different outlook on life and can support them to face these difficult feelings.
This exhibition features seven paintings in total, each one developed from a different narrative. “Beauteous Cicatrices” presents two figures; one is a female body who has survived breast cancer while the other is a transgender male who has undergone surgery to remove his breasts. Similarly, the other works focus on the physical flaws that often bring shame to the individual: “Skin”shows a figure who appears to be a burn victim or suffering from a skin disorder; while “Surface” is about people who are insecure about their marks and blemishes that appear on their faces such as wrinkles, freckles, acne, vitiligo, birthmarks, mole, scar, etc. “Belly and Back” shows a male and female figure with belly rolls, fat, stretch marks and scars. The artist wants to show that it doesn’t make a person ugly or unhealthy. Here the artist specifically emphasizes the male body and male insecurity, a topic that is not usually discussed. Tyl is also inspired by her own experiences and of her close family. In “Bonding” she depicts her and her sister together. They don’t have a lot in common in appearance or personality nor have they ever gotten along, but in this work Tyl examines their shared experiences of depression and her sister’s self-harm. “Motherhood” is a portrait of her mother and women like her whose body has been affected by pregnancy and giving birth. Last but not least,“Solace”is about two people whose appearances aren’t up to society’s standard (hairy legs, cutting scars, etc) but they are comfortable in their skin that’s why they are laying comfortably bare and relaxed.
In this series of painting, the artist explores how the surface and appearance of our body has a profound effect on the human condition. She captures people in the state of vulnerability using soft colors, flowing brush strokes, and the addition of floral patterns. As a result she has created an alternative beauty that is in contrast with social norms. However, she has purposely hidden their faces, obscuring their identities, to protect her subject and to emphasize that their stories are often hidden from the public.Additionally, whether intentional or not, the artist has proposed that the issue of body insecurity is universal and that it could any one of us on the canvas.
Tyl’s work is inspired by artist Silvia Pelissero a contemporary Italian painter, also known as Agnes Cecile. Tyl likes to explore and perfect her skills in illustration and painting. Her topic is always related to human emotion and what impacts their mental well-being.
The exhibition will include a public program of a walkthrough with the artist and artist talk on Saturday 18 August 2018 at 3.00pm at Java Toul Kork. The talk is moderated by Ms. Meta Moeng, Creative Producer of Creative Generation.
Tyl Kan (born in 1996, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
She graduated from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, major Business of Entrepreneurship in 2017. Currently, she is illustrator/painter and 2D animator. She lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
By Sin Many
Exhibition opening 6:30pm Saturday 1, September 2018
Exhibition dates: September 1 – October 7, 2018
Java Creative Cafe Toul Kork | 20A Street 337
Many is a self-taught artist whose work is concerned with the well-being of humanity and the inter-relationships with others and its surroundings. Inspired by the simple line drawings of Keith Haring (American Artist), Many works with lines and geometric shapes as a starting point for his artworks. His practices include photography, sculpture and screen printing.
Living in his hometown for over two decades with his family, and the pressure of family expectations to be a certain person has influenced Many’s perception of communal relationships and obligations. He always asks himself whether he should do more for himself or should he put the community that he lives in first? Can he help himself be more physically and mentally aware of the consequences of his own actions? Will he be able to help other people do the same? Many’s constant reflection on these relationships can be clarified further by Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” which is often presented as a five-level pyramid, with higher needs coming into focus only once lower, more basic needs are met. In ascending order, the needs are ranked as follows: physiological, security, social, ego and last but not least, self-actualization. The tension created by the fluctuating priority of needs, others vs. self, community vs. individual, is a common feature of Many’s works.
Before this exhibition, Many spent a few months researching the process of screen printing. The process involves 3 steps starting with a printed sketch on tracing paper then transfer chemically to a screen, then finally transferred to the base material with printing pigments. Throughout his research and experimentation, Many’s focus shifted to the screen itself rather than the final print. He began drawing directly on the screen and presenting that as the final work. Throughout this experimentation Many decided to leave it incomplete, without transferring the image to another material, emphasizing originality, process and the state of transformation.
In this exhibition, two different bodies of work are displayed, including eight screen prints and three sculptures. Each medium has a way of storing information and a way we look at signs. In his series of screen printing works, Many ponders human need, connections and bonds within communities. While his sculptures form signs that function as a caution from the past, present and future. Traditionally the past is represented by three previous generations while the future is represented by the next three next generations. It is here in the present, between the past and the future that we find the artist. Like his works, he remains in the state of transformation and the issue of hierarchy of needs is unresolved.
The exhibition will include a public program of a walkthrough with the artist and artist talk on Saturday 22 September 2018 at 3.00pm at Java Toul Kork. The talk is moderated by Ms. Meta Moeng, Creative Producer of Creative Generation.
Sin Many(Born in 1990, Battambang Province, Cambodia)
Many graduated with a Bachelor degree of Banking and Finance from the University of Battambang. He worked at SA SA BASSAC as an exhibition attendant. Many participated in a group of exhibition “Personnes and Espace” in 2018 at Francais du Cambodge. Currently,he lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.