Biography / CV

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 historic and current events as well as on traditional cultural rituals using humorous symbolic gestures. In his work, which includes all media, he 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, which makes it highly relevant, critical and connectable to various contemporary discourses. His work shows a remarkable ability to engage with cultural and geographic contexts as well as with spatial and institutional settings.

Khvay Samnang is among the most promising up-and-coming international artists. His outstanding artistic significance is proven by his prestigious exhibition and grant portfolio. 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). His group exhibitions include Escape Routes, Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok, Thailand; In The Forest, Even The Air Breathes, GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy; Green Currents, Foundaton Groupe EDF, Paris, France; Animalia, Garage Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2020); Frieze (Live Performance), London, United Kingdom; An Opera for Animals, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China, In One Drop of Water, Art Gallery of New South Wave, Sydney, Australia; Borderlines, Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, UK; Documenting Change: Our Climate (Past, Present, Future, CU Art Museum, The University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, USA (2019); Post Nature (Taipei Biennial 2018), Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; Constructing Mythologies, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong; Animals & Us, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK; Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2018); Fleeting Territories, Kunstraum Niederosterreich, Vienna, Austria; DOCUMENTA 14, Athens, Greece / Kassel, Germany; People, Money, Ghosts, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok (2017); Future Nature, Jack Hanley Gallery, NYC, USA; Phnom Penh, Rescures Archaeology, The Body and the Lens in the City, Fragments Empire: Cambodian Art from the Angkor Period, John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawaii, Manoa and Shifting Geographies, Bophanna Audiovisual Resource Center, Phnom Penh (2016), Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; Globale: Global Control and Censorship, ZKM | Center of Art an Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2015); A Time For Dreams, IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2014), If The World Changed, 4th Singapore Biennale (2014), Sights and Sounds: Global Video Art, The Jewish Museum, New York, USA (2013), Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany, and Poetic Politic, Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, USA (2012).

Khvay Samnang is a founding member of Stiev Selapak, an art collective dedicated to reappraising and remembering Cambodian history and exploring continuities in visual practices disrupted by civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime. In 2010/11, Stiev Selapak set up two nonprofit art spaces in Phnom Penh: Sa Sa Art Projects, for experimental residencies, knowledge-sharing, and community-based programs; and SA SA BASSAC, a gallery, resource center, and reading room. He teaches Contemporary Art Class to emerging Cambodian artists under the program of Sa Sa Art Projects. In 2016 was nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize, Ukraine, in 2015 he was nominated for Prix Pictet Prize; AIGA AGO Photography Prize Long List, Canada; the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong; and Prudential Eye Awards Best Emerging Artist in Asia Using Photography, Singapore. In 2014-15 he was a grant holder of KfW Stiftung for the 12-month programme ‘Artists in Residence’ in collaboration with Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; in 2017 he was invited by KfW Stiftung as an alumnus to participate in a think tank with the world-renowned dancer and choreographer Akram Khan. Later 2019 he was artist in residency at Delfina Foundation, London, UK.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019     A Forest of Spirits, Nova Contemporary Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand

Khvay Samnang “Preah Kunlong” and “Where is my land?”, Batia Sarem Gallery, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Capsule 10: Khvay Samanng, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

2017     Where is My Land? Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2016     Bloom Projects Exchange Series, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, USA

2015     The Pacific Project: Khvay Samnang, Orange Counry Museum of Art, CA, USA

Enjoy My Sand, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Footprints of Yantra Man, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

Rubber Man: L’Homme caoutchouc, Jeu de Paume, Paris, CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

2014     Human Nature, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore

Rubber Man, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Staging Cambodia: Video, Memory and Rock-n-Roll, HAU, Berlin, Germany

2012     Newspaper Man, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2011     Human Nature, Royal University of Fine Art, Phnom Penh / PhotoPhomPenh, Cambodia

Untitled, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Wedding + Hair, Hotel de la Paix Arts Lounge, Siem Reap, Cambodia

2010     Wedding, Sa Sa Art Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2009     Hair, Java Café and Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021     Helsinki Biennial 2021, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland

Children’s Biennale 2021, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore

Playground for Poetry, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea

Climate Care: Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures, MAK, Vienna, Austria

Listening to Voices, Futura, Prague, The Czech Republic

2020     Escape Routes, Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok, Thailand

In The Forest, Even the Air Breathes, GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy

Say the Unsaybles, 10th “2020 Yeosu International Art Festival”, YeoSu EXPO Art Gallery, Korea

Green Currents, Foundaton Groupe EDF, Paris, France

Animalia, Garage Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

2019     Frieze (Live Performance), London, United Kingdom

An Opera for Animals, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China

In one drop of water, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Bruised: Art Action and Ecology in Asia, RMIT Gallery, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Borderlines, Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Documenting Change: Our Climate (Past, Present, Future, CU Art Museum, The University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, USA

2018     Post Nature (Taipei Biennial 2018), Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Beyond Wonder – Perspectives of Utopia, Art and Design Center at Nagoya University of Arts, Tokyo, Japan

Constructing Mythologies, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong

Taehwa Eco Art Festival 2018, Ulsan, South Korea

Sopheap Pich – Khvay Samnang – Shooshie Sulaiman, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Animals & Us, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK

When animals talked to human, Travesia Cuatro Gallery, Madrid, Spain

21st Biennale of Sydney: Superposition – Equilibium and Engagement, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

2017     Le Paysage Apres Coup, Faux Mouvement- Contemporary Art Center, Metz, France

The Pacific, Libby Leshgod Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Fleeting Territories, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna

documenta 14, EMST, Athens, Greece, and Ottoneum, Kassel, Germany

Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in Southeast Asia, Art Center Melbourne, Australia

The Darkened Mirror: Global Perspectives on Water, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, USA

Human Nature, Northern Photographic Center, Oulu, Finland

Dendromorphies : Créer avec l’arbre, Topographie de l’art, Paris

People, Money, Ghosts (Movement as Metaphor), Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, Thailand

Currents, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, USA

2016     The Immeasurable Here, Outlet Fine Art, NYC, USA

Anywhere but here, Betonsalon, Paris, France

Bloom Projects: Khvay Samnang, Footprints of Yantra Man, Musuem of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, California, USA

Histories of Future, National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Future Nature, Jack Hanley Gallery, NYC, USA

Phnom Penh, Rescues Archaeology, The Body and the Lens in the City, Fragments & Empire: Cambodian Art from the Angkor Period, John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Shifting Geographies, Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2015     Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

The Pacific Project: Khvay Samnang, Orange Country Museum of Art, California, USA

Globale: Global Control and Censorship, ZKM | Center of Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

I see you see me, Delhi Photo Festival, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival 2015 – Architectural Landscapes: SEA in the Forefront, Queens Museum, NYC, America

And That Which Was Always Known, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore

Rates of Exchange, Un-Compared: Contemporary Art in Bangkok and Phnom Penh, H Gallery, Bangkok and SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh

Eagles Fly, Sheeps Flock, Southeast Asian Platform, Art Stage Singapore, Singapore

Prudential Eye Awards Finalist Exhibition, Art Science Museum, Singapore

Social Engagement Artists, Tomio Koyama, Singapore

The Khmer Rouge and the consequences. Documentation as artistic memory work, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany

2014     Swimming in Sand; Growing Rice Under an Umbrella, No Vacancy, Melbourne with parallel programming at National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Centre and Federation Square Melbourne, Australia

Phnom Penh Rescue Archaeology: The Body and the Lens in the City, Goldsmiths University of London for SEA Fest, UK

Looking at the Big Blue Sky, Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh Rescue Archaeology: The Body and the Lens in the City, The Disappearance, Center for Contemporary Art, Singapore

Medicine to Heal: Cambodian Photography since 2000, Xishuangbanna Foto Festival, Yunnan, China

Censorship, the 7th Move on Asia, Alternative Space LOOP, Seoul, South Korea

Rescue Archaeology: The Body and the Lens in the City, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh

2013     Everyday Life: 4th Asian Art Biennale, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

If The World Changed, 4th Singapore Biennale, Singapore

Sights and Sounds: Global Video Art, The Jewish Museum, NYC, USA

Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart, Berlin

Out of Nowhere: Photography in Cambodia, creativetimereports.org

Developments, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2012     Poetic Politic, Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, USA

Deep Sea, Primo Marella Gallery, Milano, Italy

Mondi, DryPhoto Contemporaneo, Prato, Italy

Tobias Rehberger Pavilion “You Owe Me. I Don’t Owe You Nothin.’ROUNDTABLE, Gwangju Biennale

Terra Incognita, Noorderlight Photography Festival, The Netherlands

Current Views and Actions: Photography and Performance Documentation from Phnom Penh, Northern Illinois Museum, USA

new artefacts, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Between Fantasy and Reality: Contact Photography Festival at The East Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Ruptures and Revival: Cambodian Photography in the Last Decade, ICAS, Singapore

2011     Tokyo 2010, Tokyo Wonder Site Hongo, Japan

Between / Myanmar-Cambodia, Metahouse, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Arles Photography Festival Night of the Year, Arles, France

2010     Luxury Time and Space, Tokyo Wonder Site Aoyama, Japan

Orange International Photography Festival, Changsa, China

Big Eyes, Sa Sa Art Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2009     Forever Until Now: Contemporary Art from Cambodia, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery,

Hong Kong

2008     Arles Photography Festival Night of the Year, Arles, France

Reminder, Photo Phnom Penh, Bophanna Audiovisual Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I love PP, Java Café and Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Silence, Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2007     Menthoamada, Gasolina, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Spirit House, Khmer Arts Academy, Takhmao, Cambodia

14 + 1, French Cultural Center Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Market, Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Surfacing, Sala Artspace, Phnom Penh Cambodia

Anon, Sala Artspace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2006     Contemporary Cambodian Art Review, Sala Artspace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I am leaving, French Cultural Center Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2005     Sowing Seeds of Peace, Mekong River Basin, Institute of Education, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Similar things between the Khmer and the Thai, Thai Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2004     Life: Student Exhibition for the 86th Anniversary, Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

SCREENINGS

2019     Artists’ films of Khvay Samnang, Cine Club, Bophana Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2018     Living on the Edge, The Factory Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

2017     The People’s Summit, McCormick Place, Chicago, USA

Forces and Volumes, Bophana Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2015     Vidéothèque Project, Arts Santa Monica in Barcelona

Inaugural Vision Forum, Gwangju at the Asian Cultural Center, South Korea

BIMI Essay Film Festival, London

Video Art Festival FOKUS, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen.

Inventing the Possible, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

NOMINATIONS

2020     The Shpilman International Photography Prize 2020, Jerusalem

2016     Future Generation Art Prize, Ukraine

2015     Han Nefkens Foundation, BACC Award for Contemporary Art, Thailand

Prix Pictet Prize

AIGA AGO Photography Prize Long List, Canada

Prudential Eye Awards, Best Emerging Artist in Asia Using Photography

Sovereign Asian Art Prize Finalist, Hong Kong

2014     Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong

Future Generation Art Prize, Ukraine

2013     Future Generation Art Prize, Ukraine

Prix Pictet, France

WORKSHOPS + RESIDENCIES

2019     Delfina Foundation, London, UK

2017     Disarming the Gods: Think tank led by the dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt, Germany

2014-15 Artists-in-residence program by KfW Stiftung, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany

2013     Residency Unlimited and Casita Maria / IN RESIDENCE, Season of Cambodia, New York, USA

2011     Creators Program, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan

Between, Metahouse, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Co-Founder, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2010     Creators Program, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan

Co-Founder, Sa Sa Art Projects, The Building, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2009     Co-Founder, Sa Sa Art Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2008     Bassac Studio, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2007     Photography: History and Training with Stephane Janin, Popil Photo Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Co-Founder of the artist collective Stiev Selapak

SOLO PUBLICATIONS

2019     Khvay Samnang “A Forest of Spirits” by Nova Contemporary

Khvay Samnang “Preah Kunlong” and “Where is my land?” by Batia Sarem Gallery

2015     Khvay Samnang: The Life Beneath My Feet, ed. by Nicola Müllerschön and Christoph Tannert, with an essay by Brianne Cohen and an interview by Hendrik Folkerts, Dortmund: Verlag Kettler, 2015.

Khvay Samnang: Rubber Man: L’Homme-caoutchouc, curated by Erin Gleeson, exhibition catalogue Jeu de Paume, Paris, CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2015.

2014     Khvay Samnang: Human Nature, Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2014.

COLLECTIONS

Singapore Art Museum

Mainland Art Fund

The Queensland Art Gallery

KfW Bankengruppe

National Gallery of Australia

Kadist Foundation

MAIIAM Museum

DC Collection

Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa)

EDUCATION

2006     B.A. Painting, Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA), Phnom Penh, Cambodia

KS CV 2021