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Artist Biography

Shortly after joining Open Studio Cambodia, Kanha began experimenting with self-portraiture, photography, and developing her own artistic aesthetic which combines digital photography, printed, and then embellished with paint, thread, ink, stencil, and paper cut techniques. She touches on themes of feminism, self- determination, critically examining the traditional roles of women and children in her society, with a strong focus on concealing her own face, a metaphor for her own personal journey to realizing her own potential as an artist and independent woman.

In 2020, Kanha Hul worked with community members in her home village Kralanh District, a rural Siem Reap province to create intimate, often abstracted compositions made up of body parts. Her work aims to describe the connection between the physical body and one’s hidden nostalgia and trauma. The repetitive use of gold in this series is drawn from traditional Cambodian proverb, "Men are like gold, women are like white cloth," meaning men are able to recover from their past missteps and shine themselves off again to their original brilliance, unlike women who carry the stain of their mistakes forever.

Kanha Hul became inspired by a well- known Cambodian proverb, which reads "women have 100 hands." Inspired by this proverb she created a new series of work entitled, "One Hundred Hands" with her community in her home village in Kralanh District, Siem Reap thanks to Treeline Urban Resort Artist Grant program.

Kanha was reminded of her mother's words: “as women, we must engage in endless multi- tasking in our roles as wives, mothers, housekeepers, cleaners, cooks, and our various other roles.” In 2020, Kanha held a workshop with women in her home village during which she became inspired by their stories.

Born in Siem Reap in 1999, Kahna Hul is a contemporary artist who is, along her artistic practice pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia. She believes in art as a form of expression whose practice is vital for self-fulfillment and self-mastery while providing the means to communicate and reconnect to one’s soul. Her creative practice encompasses photography, performance art, painting, paper cutting, collage, stencil techniques, and participatory projects. Thematically, Kanha’s work often highlights the role of women in society, questions society’s deeply held beliefs, and celebrates woman’s lives and glories. In 2019, Kanha was an invited speaker and art instructor at the United Nations Women i4i Conference in Phnom Penh, and in 2020, she taught art at NOMADIX Arts Festival in Siem Reap. She was also the recipient of the Treeline Urban Resort Artist Grant (2020) and Dum Dos project grant from Cambodia Living Arts (2021). Kanha’s works have been featured in group exhibitions throughout Cambodia and at international galleries: Cambodian Contemporary Art, Galerie Lee, Paris, France and Artxchange Gallery, Seattle, USA (2020), “Asians Belong Here" at SaveArtSpace organization, Art Billboard, New York, USA and “Visualizing History” at Collaborative by Museum Collective, Sa Sa Art Project, Cambodia (2021). Kanha’s have been solo exhibitions in 2023 “Values” at Silpak Trochaek Pneik, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

About Artist work

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