The Visual Art Program of Season of Cambodia, A Living Arts Festival
New York City | April 1 - May 31, 2013

Directed by Leeza Ahmady and co-curated with Erin Gleeson, IN RESIDENCE was a citywide visual arts program centered on the curatorial and artistic practice through two-month residencies for 10 visual artists and 1 curatorial resident, alongside singular exhibitions and transdisciplinary public programs across 15 major New York City arts institutions. By extending the artists' practices as ways of generating and reflecting both experience and knowledge, IN RESIDENCE offered audiences new perspectives on Cambodia's history and contemporaneity.

In the past decade, Cambodia's local and diaspora visual artists have been responsible for anchoring critical first-person interpretations of their histories from multiple angles, while responding to current urban and cultural change. Selected artists were born between 1970 and 1987, either during the U.S. military bombing campaign, the Khmer Rouge era, or Vietnamese occupation, and work across a range of mediums including drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance.

Participating Artists

Tith Kanitha
Vuth Lyno (Curatorial Resident)
Yim Maline
Sopheap Pich
Pete Pin
Vandy Rattana
Khvay Samnang
Amy Lee Sanford
Svay Sareth
Leang Seckon
Than Sok
Lim Sokchanlina

IN RESIDENCE Signature Symposium: Contemporary Art in Cambodia: Historical Inquiry || Co-organized with Cornell University and the Museum of Modern Art

Participating Institutions

Arts Brookfield || Churning: Svay Sareth

Date: April 4 - June 14
Artist: Svay Sareth

Running along a 17 meter-long pedestrian walkway, "Churning" brought to life one of Phnom Penh's main plazas in New York City. The site-specific mural depicted a typical scene at the busy urban square housing the Vietnamese-Cambodian Friendship Monument. In this work, the contentious postwar public memorial was been replaced with a camouflage rendering of "Churning of the Sea of Milk," an ancient creation myth famously depicted as a bas-relief at Angkor Wat. Replacing one monument with another drew attention to the similarities that exist between the two; two sides, in tension, attempting cooperation. While Churning's tug-of-war referenced Cambodia's past and present, its coded, yet succinct critique on conflict and power struggle was universal.

Asia Society || Bomb Ponds: Vandy Rattana

Date: February 26 - June 2
Artist: Vandy Rattana

Bomb Ponds: Vandy Rattana is a poignant series of photographs and a one-channel video by Vandy Rattana (b.1980) that explored the U.S. bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The serenity of Vandy's images belied the violent history of the landscape, while his video highlighted the resilience of the Cambodian people. Bomb Ponds also brought attention to the lack of documentation of these unwarranted acts of violence, undertaken by U.S. government.

BAM Cultural District, Brooklyn || Wrapped Future: Lim Sokchanlina

Date: Opened May 24
Artist: Lim Sokchanlina

BAM Park flourishes as an overgrown natural environment - one of the few remaining in the Fort Greene neighborhood. Through wrapping its trees with caution-orange fencing, artist Lim Sokchanlina (b.1987, Cambodia) acknowledged this small plot of green in a bustling area as a rare and endangered forest - a concern he feels for his own native Cambodia - thus foregrounding the potential for balance between development and the natural environment.

Bose Pacia || Open Studios: Tith Kanitha and Yim Maline

Date: Thursday, May 2
Artist: Tith Kanitha and Yim Maline

As part of the popular "First Thursdays DUMBO Gallery Walk", IN RESIDENCE artists Tith Kanitha (b. 1987) and Yim Maline (b. 1982) opened their shared studio space at Bose Pacia Transparent Studio for the public, during the midpoint of their 2-month residency in New York City. During their residency, both artists treated the studio as an experimental space to explore their materials and methods.

Bronx Museum of Arts || Artist Spotlight: Leang Seckon and Pete Pin

Date: Friday, April 26
Artist: Leang Seckon and Pete Pin

This day-long Open Studio marked the end of IN RESIDENCE artist Leang Seckon's one month residency, and the midway point for Pete Pin's residency at Bronx Museum of the Arts.

After the viewing, a conversation with the IN RESIDENCE artists took place in which Leang Seckon, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Brooklyn-based Cambodian Diaspora artist Pete Pin discussed their backgrounds, respective art practices, and projects developed while in residence at Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Creative Time || Out of Nowhere: Photography in Cambodia, Creative Time Reports

Date: April 15 - Ongoing

A selection of works tracing resurgent developments in Cambodian photography, presented through a special online series at, a program of the trailblazing public-art organization Creative Time. Following photography's invention in the mid-1800s, travelers photographed and disseminated images that portrayed Cambodia as an exotic land. It was only at the outset of the Independence years (1953-1970) that the country began to record itself, but this practice was sadly interrupted, and its archive mostly destroyed, by war. Today, concerned by the lack of physical documentation of the stories, traits, and monuments unique to their culture, Cambodian photographers and artists devise new ways of showing and telling.

Independent Curators International (ICI) || Dialogues in Contemporary Art Take 5: Erin Gleeson & Leeza Ahmady

May 14, 2013

Leeza Ahmady and Phnom Penh-based curator Erin Gleeson discussed IN RESIDENCE, and the intensive 18-month curatorial process that fused their respective backgrounds, programmatic expertise and curatorial work both within and outside of Asia. Ahmady and Gleeson's IN RESIDENCE centered the curatorial on artistic practice itself: 10 artists and 1 curator were invited to live and work in New York City to extend their emerging practices to its public through singular exhibitions and transdisciplinary programs as a way of generating and reflecting experience and knowledge.

Gleeson, who is the co-founder and Artistic Director of SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, is recognized for foundational work with local cultural institutions, schools, and artists in Cambodia.

Listen to Take 5 with Erin Gleeson

As part of Dialogues in Contemporary Art (ICI)

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at Governors Island, || Open Studios

Date: May 25 - May 27

Kong Vollak // Lim Sokchanlina // Amy Lee Sanford
Svay Sareth // Than Sok // Vandy Rattana // Vuth Lyno

Season of Cambodia curator-in-residence Vuth Lyno (b. 1982) curated an Open Studios program at the culmination of two-month residencies for five Cambodian contemporary artists working across a range of mediums and practices including sculpture, photography, video, installation and performance. The three-day event, in conjunction with opening weekend at Governors Island, featured the works and processes of the resident artists as they have unfolded in the environment and energy of their stay in New York City.

Parsons The New School For Design || Conversations and Screening

CONVERSATION: Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York
SCREENING: Rescue Archaeology: Documents of Performance Art in Phnom Penh

Date: Sunday, April 7

Artist: Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina and Vuth Lyno
Curators: Leeza Ahmady and Erin Gleeson

Conversation panels presented in collaboration with a major colloquium organized by Parsons, The New School for Design. A window into a yearlong and ongoing exchange between designers, curators, architects, planners, and social researchers from Phnom Penh and New York, this colloquium explored the interconnectedness of creativity, urban ecology, and community in three acts.

ACT 1. Geo-body of a Living Arts City with Cambodian Living Arts Fellows & Visiting Artists

ACT 2. The Production of Space in the Living Arts City with screening Rescue Archaeology: Documents of Performance Art in Phnom Penh and presentation Our City Festival: Cultivating Communities

ACT 3. Production of Cultural Space with artist collective Stiev Selapak

Residency Unlimited || Reading: Khvay Samnang

Date: Tuesday, May 21
Artist: Khvay Samnang

A lively evening of photographic and performance screenings, readings and conversation with artist Khvay Samnang who was joined by curators June Yap, curator No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, Joshua Barndt, Teaching Fellow, Living Arts City, Parsons the New School for Design and Vuth Lyno, Artist and Curatorial Assistant, IN RESIDENCE. The event concluded Khvay's two-month New York residency with Residency Unlimited and in-studio at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education. Residency Unlimited.

Tyler Rollins Fine Art || Reliefs: Sopheap Pich

Date: April 18 - June 14
Artist: Sopheap Pich

In a solo exhibition of new works, Sopheap Pich (b. 1971) presented a focused series of orthogonal wall reliefs weighted with materials native to Cambodia's land and history. Burlap, beeswax, charcoal, and earth pigments combined on Pich's rigid bamboo and rattan grids to express his increasingly conceptual and minimalistic sensibilities while retaining a corporeal quality so prominent in his earlier works. Pich had debuted the wall relief series for his installation in dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany last summer.

Winter Garden, Brookfield Place || Compound: Sopheap Pich

Date: March 28 - April 18
Artist: Sopheap Pich

Compound is a large-scale installation by Sopheap Pich (b. 1971) that speaks to the recent, aggressive construction boom and the resulting depletion of natural resources in Phnom Penh. Comprising of 83 voluminous bamboo and rattan grids and tubular modules, Compound's reticulation echoes modern architecture while its natural materials and transparency create a meditation on the idea of city itself.

Residency Partners:

Asia Art Archive in America // Asian Cultural Council // Bose Pacia
Bronx Museum of the Arts // Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Residency Unlimited (RU) // Casita Maria Center for Art and Education

Presented by Season of Cambodia, A Living Arts Festival, New York City