Tith Kanitha

All images courtesy of the artist

  • Untitled, 2019, Hand Coiled 0.7mm Steel wire, W46×L221×D15

Instinct, intuition, and play are valued skills and disciplines Tith Kanitha has nurtured as strategies of resistance to normative expressions of beauty, productive labor, gender roles and political resistance in Cambodia. Her practice across media provides, in her words, “different ways to breath”, conjuring personal experiences of participation and freedom as they associate with the subconscious and the somatic.
Tith’s sculptures are made with thin-gauge steel wire, within which she finds metaphorical relation for its typically “supportive role” as an unseen material that enables connecting and building structures. Through laborious hand-coiling around a thin copper dowel, she amasses great lengths of helical modules that become spring-like, flexible lengths that can stretch, compress, and interlock when wrapped around one another. 
In a two-way conversation with her materials, she describes both careful listening and gentle subversion, of finding a flow or falling into drift. Tith’s sculptures often feature as part of her installation and performances. She has long referred to her sculpting process as “drawing with wire”, which has more recently become a double entendre as she often fashions tools of steel wire for her intimate, abstract drawing practice. 

About the Artist

Tith Kanitha (B.1987, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) centers intuitive processes as she works across media with a focus on sculpture and drawing. Her solo presentations include the performance How Heavy Is Time? at Casco Art Institute, Utrecht (2020) and the exhibition Instinct, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2018). Select group exhibitions include 58th Carnegie International, Pittsburg (2022), Singapore Biennale (2022), SUNSHOWER: Southeast Asian Art from 1980s to Today, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017), and Rescue Archaeology, ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany (2013). Kanitha was a resident at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (2019-2021). She is a member of Anti-Archive film collective in Cambodia.

  • Tith Kanitha

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation