Petition Part I

In response to the Petition Part 0, This is the excerpt of the original Khmer petition letter for the Season of Cambodia Festival. (below is just the English translation version).

March 02, 2013,

[ To:  Executive Producer of Season of Cambodia and Cambodian Living Arts Organization

The undersigned senior/emerging artists and arts leaders reject the system of unfairness, non-transparency and the inappropriate of the Season of Cambodia regarding the choice making for participated artists for the visual arts program as part of the entire of season of Cambodia, which will be held in New York City, The United States of America.]

………… to be continued.

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Ladies Magazine reviews “Googlable”

A bilingual (Khmer – English) Ladies Magazine features the controversial poem, “Googlable” in its April issue, a poem influenced by a Bob Dylan song called “Blowing in the Wind”. Googlable provokes us with seven simple questions that we seem to forget, and they bring us back to some in-depth thinking about these simplicities.

Why would anyone think an artist need to be “googlable” before being accepted in the art world? Long before the internet and Google existed, artists were acknowledged by well-known arts institutions because of their vision, talent, and originality. They were mentioned in newspapers or magazines.

Interestingly, these days some curators utilize google as one of the criteria for the selection of artists to invite to their programs and festivals. The more entries on Google, the more international the reputation of the artist.

The world of art is indistinguishable from the fact that its practices are controlled by a so-called standard. But of course no one can define the criteria for that standard, either at the local or international level. Does a standard really exist? Continue reading

New York festival opens doors but draws ire from local artists

Artist Reaksmey Yean has been vocal in his criticism of the artist selection process for Seasons of Cambodia. Photograph: Alexander Crook/Phnom Penh Post

Artist Reaksmey Yean has been vocal in his criticism of the artist selection process for Seasons of Cambodia. Photograph: Alexander Crook/Phnom Penh Post

A FEW years ago, Leang Seckon, artist and graduate of Royal University of Fine Arts,painted by the shores of Boeung Kak lake in a ramshackle, wooden studio. For the month of April, his studio will be the Bronx, New York City.

The mixed-media artist has garnered critical acclaim over the past decade for his kaleidoscopic collages, which have shown in London, Singapore, Myanmar, China and more.

This year’s residency at the Bronx Museum comes as part of the highly anticipated Seasons of Cambodia (SOC) festival in its visual arts program – perhaps the biggest ever international celebration of Cambodian arts.

Throughout April and May, over 125 Cambodian artists – traditional Khmer and contemporary dancers, film-makers, performance artists, musicians, sculptors and photographers – will fly to New York City for the festival. Continue reading

Before he’s googlable

How many shows must a man organizes
before they call him artist
How many arts must one man creates
before he is visible
How many awards, artist needs to grant
before he’s googlable
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many awards must one man receives
before he is googlable
How many years can some artists exist
before they’re allowed to be seen
How many times can a curator turn his head
and pretend that he just doesn’t see
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
Continue reading

Indian Tradition Hits Phnom PENH tonight

reaksmey-yean-indian-danceThe ancient dance form called Kathakali, which is the most artistic creativity representing the traditions of India, is originally from the state of Kerala. Kathakali is not only the traditional dance that reflects the Indian arts and culture, but nowadays it becomes globally popular among various ethnicity around India and the world.

The Embassy of India to Cambodia and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations bring a surprise to Phnom PENH, an extraordinary show  of the style of classical dance Kathakali called Charishnu. This extravaganza of Indian Classical Dance, Charishnu will be presented on two different dates, at the Chaktamouk Conference Hall.

–       Tuesday, December 4, 2012

–       Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tickets are available in various places around Phnom PENH, they could be found at Gloria Jeans, Phnom Penh India, Sher-I-Punjab, Flavours of India, Taste Budz and Shiv Shakti. The tickets cost between 2USD, 5USD and 10USD.

a man of the month

REAKSMEY Yean Cover Page

WUPP Cover’s

Does being on the cover page make you famous or embarrassed? I don’t know!!!

“I swear I just saw you on the WUPP’s cover” a text message last two weeks from my Couchsurfing friend, Lauren.

Lauren and I never met in person and on the same day we decided to spend the night together at Love Bar. After few drinks, a man shown up and knocked Lauren’s shoulder and yelled: “do you know that this man (me) is very famous?” He is on the cover page. Lauren responded: “Yes, I know!!!”

“Very good meeting you bro!!!” said the same man, who is a professional photographer, Zeeshan Haider.

People keep texting, emailing and faceboking me of seeing me on a cover page and the most common words they use congratulations and you are very famous now my friend. It was quiet in the last few days, but it’s not true, it’s still continuing.

Last night at Meta House, when I talked with Johannes and Nico, a man I used to see before, but we’ve never been introduced came up with the words, “wow you are everywhere, facebook and the cover page. You are the new generation of the Cambodian arts communities.”

I don’t know what to response, but thank you… Continue reading

White Lotus

“The White Lotus” represents a journey of lives, the circulation and continuation of death and recreation. The White Lotus is found in the countryside, naturally occurring in a series of ponds. It is also a metaphor for an old home for the artist. The beautiful ponds surrounded by bushes and covered by morning spring dew have now disappeared. The ponds and lotuses that used to be the basic and daily needs of the villagers have become flat areas.

“I use to see people in the morning collecting the white lotus. I still smell the fresh air and recall the memories of the past, but everything has floated away from my eyesight. Now only the images stored deep in my heart remain,” says Chhim Sothy. Continue reading