Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Khvay Samnang

28 Aug - 20 Sep 2015

Footprints of Yantra Man
28 August – 20 September 2015

Khvay 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 performances, videos and photographs he focuses on the humanitarian and ecological impacts of colonialism and globalization, primarily on the issues of expropriation and unrestrained growth in Cambodia.
In his installation Footprints of Yantra Man at Künst-
lerhaus Bethanien the artist uses for the first time sculpture and drawings: A life-size metal armour, long panels of red cloth, and a giant cotton string bound with metal plates are all patterned by the artist with various elements referring to political and personal histories between Europe and Cambodia, spirituality and superstition and power and war.
The engravings are inspired by sacred drawings (yantra) and tattoos (sak yant), used traditionally in Southeast Asia to bestow magical power and protection, and the cotton string (katha) points to traditional Hindu amulets worn on the body for the same purpose.
Khvay uses these elements of the Cambodian belief system as subtle gestures of resistance against histories and continuities of colonial domination and oppression, but also as tongue-in-cheek attributes of the artist’s body, whose measurements and traces are within each work.Khvay Samnang is currently receiving a fellowship from the KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt a. M.

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