Press Release – Sa Sa Art Gallery Expands

Sa Sa Art Gallery Expands

Press Release – Sa Sa Art Gallery Expands (English)

Press Release – Sa Sa Art Gallery Expands (Khmer)

PHNOM PENH – Moving into its fourth year together, the group of friends and artists known as Stiev Selapak, or Art Rebels (VANDY Rattana, VUTH Lyno, KONG Vollak, LIM Sokchanlina, KHVAY Samnang, and HENG Ravuth) expands to meet yet another need in their home and artistic community in Cambodia: a larger gallery dedicated to exhibitions and education.

Founded in 2007, Stiev Selapak began their focus on informal knowledge-sharing about art with a focus on photography after realizing the lack of resources on contemporary art available in Cambodia.  In their first years, they partnered with existing spaces and visiting artists to understand the creative landscape.

By 2009, with the support of Baitong Restaurant, they founded Sa Sa Art Gallery – the first artist-run gallery dedicated solely to exhibitions, which differs from the common hybrid gallery trend (café/bar/lounge/hotel/etc) in Cambodia.  Located on street 360 next to Baitong Restaurant in Phnom Penh, Sa Sa Art Gallery hosted ten exhibitions by emerging artists and, along the way, developed a loyal audience of art advocates in the local Cambodian and expatriate community.  The gallery is listed in The Japan Foundation’s Art Guide to Asia (2010).

In 2010, after many Cambodian and foreign artists offered their work for an art auction fundraiser, Stiev Selapak was able to create Sa Sa Art Projects to fulfill the need for a non-profit artist-operated projects space that engages emerging artists in experimentation and is also used for residencies in a community-based environment at The White Building on Sothearos Boulevard.

Now, Stiev Selapak will relocate its Sa Sa Art Gallery by merging with Bassac Art Projects to create Sa Sa Bassac – a larger gallery and educational space that fulfills the need for Cambodia’s more established artists to have a professional base at home.  Bassac Art Projects is an initiative founded in 2007 by curator and sacholar of contemporary art from Cambodia, Erin Gleeson, to support curatorial and educational practices in the visual arts. Sa Sa Bassac comprises a spacious sixty square meter gallery, a by-donation library, and a reading and workshop room. Sa Sa Bassac is located at #18 (upstairs) Sothearos Blvd.

While Sa Sa Art Projects will remain dedicated to working with and for emerging artists and local community, Sa Sa Bassac will focus on established artist solo exhibitions and related educational projects.

The last show at the current Sa Sa Art Gallery space is a photo slideshow projection entitled ‘Big Eyes’ which opens on 27 & 28 January at 6:30pm. The special two-night photo slideshow event will feature unique photographic work by 10 young Cambodian photographers: HENG Ravuth, KHVAY Samnang, KONG Vollak, LIM Sokchanlina, NEAK Sophal, NEANG Sokchea, SIV Cheng, SOVANN Philong, THY Heang and VANDY Rattana.

The first exhibition at Sa Sa Bassac is ‘The Bomb Ponds’ by VANDY Rattana, a Stiev Selapak co-founder now based between Phnom Penh and Paris. The Bomb Ponds comprises color photographs and documentary film of seemingly serene landscapes – circular bodies of water and indentations of land: craters left from covert American carpet-bombing of Cambodia between 1964-1975. Vandy’s work testifies to and questions this period of destruction.  The exhibition opens on 17 February at 6pm, with an artist talk scheduled for 18 February at 6.30pm in Khmer and English.

SA SA BASSAC + SA SA ART PROJECTS are dedicated to creating, facilitating, producing, and sharing contemporary visual culture and projects in and from Cambodia. Mindful of the Cambodian context, our programs carefully support diverse practices amongst artists, curators, writers, and other cultural producers. We aim to facilitate a respect and continuity of living traditions while expanding the potentials and understanding of what visual art can be.

For more information about

Sa Sa Art Projects, contact:       Vuth Lyno         012 756 765 lynovuth@yahoo.com

Sa Sa Bassac, contact:                   Erin Gleeson    078 469 051 / 012 507 917 erinmgleeson@gmail.com

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