Keo Sreypheak

Rooted, 2021
Single channel video, sound, 7’ 57”

When I was in Sa Sa Art Projects’ contemporary art class at, the teacher asked all the students to read a book on Cambodian diseases. In the book, the author describes historical events from 1946 to 1987. After reading, I found myself obsessed with the story of Kampuchea Krom, the territory that Cambodia had ceded to Vietnam during the French colonial period. I started researching everything I could on the topic. I traveled to Siem Reap and Battambang to find people from Kampuchea Krom who had fled to live back in Cambodia to learn about their lives.

They told me, “Nothing more to talk, because no one hears, no one cares, no one speaks about the matter, and sometimes, when they know that I am Kampuchea Krom, they discriminate against me.They do not speak to me anymore...I came here empty-handed, trying to do business, to buy a motorbike. They wouldn’t sell it to me because I have no ID card. When I want to buy land, I didn’t own anything, they asked for a residence book, birth certificate, but they did not do it because they did not believe that I am Khmer Krom. ” 

About the Artist: KEO Pheak

  • Photo courtesy of Sa Sa Art Projects

KEO Pheak (born 1991, Battambang) she is an exhibition coordinator. In 2012 she went to studied visual art at Phare Ponleu Selpak. She is currently living in Phnom Penh and passionate about contemporary performance art. She also doing research about environmental issues, sharing education, and the recycle. Her artwork is focusing on women, social-environmental issues and discrimination on the basis of race.

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation