Non-binary 1


Kong Dara

Non-binary 1, 2023, Color pencil, 29.7 x 29.7 cm
The Image courtesy of the artist

About the artistsNon-binary work by Kong Dara comprises eight drawings made of pen and colored pencil and a sculptural installation made of unfired clay. The fine, delicate drawings depict blue threads twisting, wrapping around something resembling maps. In the middle of the pictures are light yellow forms, which, when we take a closer look, there seem to be some organic forms moving, swimming in them. Using images of tadpoles and organic forms as symbols of growth, change, and flow, these drawings map the artist’s personal life experiences as he explores and evolves while traversing through places where he meets new people and friends. For the artist, by making these drawings, he wants to reflect on the growth of life, struggles, love, relationships, social development, and the LGBT+ communities. On the other hand, the clay sculptures of the installation show more vividly the shape of tadpoles moving fluidly and collectively, forming a kind of movement of life. This unfired clay of the work points to the instability, fragility, and changeability of soil and life.

About the Artist

Kong Dara (b. 1990, Prey Veng province) studied art at Sa Sa Art Projects where he also works as a Residency Coordinator. Dara works across media including drawing, sculpture, and installation, often using pen and colored pencil on paper and clay. His artwork investigates his personal experience, memory, and emotions, and often reflects on social change and LGBT+ communities. His work has appeared in many group exhibitions at Cambodian and international venues including Ku Bar, Bangkok; Nhà Sàn Collective, Hanoi; SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh; Sangker Art Space & Gallery, Battambang; Carol Shen Gallery, New York; and Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh. He has undertaken several residencies in Cambodia and internationally, including at Open Contemporary Art Center, Taipei; San Art Laboratory, Ho Chi Minh City; Tentacles Art Space, Bangkok; Sangker Art Space & Gallery, Battambang; and Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh. Dara was a recipient of the Alternative Art School Fellowship (2021).

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation