Khvay Samnang


1982 -

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, Cambodia, where he lives and works today. Samnang’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, environmental degradation 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.

Khvay Samnang is a founding member of artist collective 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 (2010-Ongoing), for experimental residencies, creative education programs, exhibitions, and other special collaborative projects; and SA SA BASSAC (2011-2018), a gallery, resource center, and reading room.

Khvay Samnang is one of the most recognized Contemporary artist in Cambodia and on international art scene. His works has been featured in Biennale, Biennial, Triennial include 11th Taipei Biennial (2018), 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), DOCUMENTA 14th (2017), Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) 8th (2015), IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2014), 4th Singapore Biennale (2013). His selected solo exhibitions include Capsule 10: Khvay Samnang (Popil, 2018), 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) and Human Nature, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore (2014). His group exhibitions include Bruised: Art Action and Ecology in Asia, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Austraila (2019); 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; 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); Globale: Global Control and Censorship, ZKM | Center of Art an Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2015).

  • Popil
    Digital still from the video from two-channel video, color, sound 21’59”

  • Untitled
    Digital C-Print, 80 x 120 cm

  • Preah Kunlong
    Digital C-Print, 80 x 120 cm

The artist interview :
Cambodian artist, Khvay Samnang (Photography/Video/Performance/Sculpture/Installation)

Select Press/Publication

Capsule 10: Khvay Samnang
07 February, 2019

Khvay Samnang: The Way to the Spirit
COBO Social
by Caroline Ha Thuc
12 September, 2018

People, Money, Ghosts (Movement As Metaphor), Jim Thompson Art Centre 
Bangkok Post
by Apipar Norapoompipat
17 April, 2017

Cambodian artist invited to Europe’s prestigious documenta event 
The Cambodian Daily
by Michelle Vachon
30 March, 2017

Khvay Samnang Unearths Colonial Past in Berlin Show
by Natalia Masewicz
September 07, 2015

Khvay Samnang’s Poetic “Rubber Man” Video at Jeu de Paume
Blouin Art Info
by Nicholas Forrest
August 05, 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.

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

Khvay Samnang Taking Boeung Kak Lake To The Singapore Biennale 
by Eve Watling
November 2013

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation