November 19, 2023
15years! It has been 15 years since Photo Phnom Penh was born on the initiative of Alain Arnaudet, then director of the French Cultural Center. A festival which had the dual ambition of establishing exchanges between European and Asian artists and fostering the emergence of a new generation of photographers, in a small country still reeling from the murderous madness of the Khmer Rouge regime, the. Deal.
In2008, it was difficult to find four Cambodian photographers to exhibit, today, while we favor newcomers, we could exhibit a few dozen. These Cambodian photographers are also regularly shown abroad, in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific area. In 2008, 90% of visitors were expatriates, today it is the opposite and the many volunteers – whom I would like to thank once again, without them the festival would not exist – prove that photography has become areal center of interest, among young people and others. The exchanges between cultures has taken on a real educational dimension in a country where training in photography is still not seriously considered.
Today, organized by Photo Phnom Penh Association, an independent Cambodian NGO, the festival benefits from its main partners, the Institut français Paris, the Institut français du Cambodge and the delegation of the European Union in Cambodia while expanding its network of local and international contributors. It remains on the same editorial line by favoring the exchange and showing the new emerging Cambodian artists.
After the Swiss Confederation last year, we are happy to welcome our new guest country Taiwan (ROC) with five of its contemporary photographers, alternating our partnership with guest countries between Europe and Asia. With their diversity, inscribed in the history of photography as well as in its recent developments, the program drawn up by Taiwan will emphasize the vitality of the photographic image on the island.
At the French Institute, ten years of work by Kim Hak, who traveled in all parts through his beloved Cambodia, reminds us that the country is more than just the temples of Angkor Wat and the Khmer Rouge Killing Field. This work on landscape which underlines the richness and diversity of the territory will dialogue with the documentary approach and the subtle colors images of Olivia Gay taken in the East of France. DenisDailleux, who has the honor of being shown on the great wall of the French Embassy, invites us on a journey through his 30 years of memories in Egypt in warm and vibrant tones. He will also present a new work just as rich, made in India where he immersed himself in the largest flower market in Kolkata. They oung Cambodian Hul Kanha will present her new series of images, between photography and painting at the Bophana center which has hosted the festival since its beginnings. We are delighted to come back to this place of rich archives on the history of the country with the photographs Alan Crumlish taken in 1989, ten years after the fall of the Khmer rouge regime. Coming back to the to present, we will present the two series of
Chhen Kimhong whose gaze settled on bus stops by night before and during COVID 19.
Not to be missed is our famous traveling exhibition on tuk-tuks as well as our beloved tuk-tuk tour which will take you to visit our exhibitions around the city. Three screening evenings, debates, round tables, lecture of portfolios and, more than everything, meetings and friendship will complete our program.
15years after its creation Photo Phnom Penh is very much alive and just waiting to develop, in a troubled and unstable period.