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27 Feb 2010

Khvay Samnang at Java Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Khvay Samnang: Hair
Java Gallery


Java Gallery and Cafe is a leading contemporary Art Space in Cambodia Exhibition from 26 Feb - 28 Mar 2010 Opening hours: Everyday from 7am-10pm

Dana Langlois, Ali Sanderson
+855 23 987 420

Java Gallery
56 Sihanouk Blvd
Phnom Penh

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Khvay Samnang is part of the new wave of Contemporary art practitioners emerging from a young generation of arts graduates from Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh.

Working in the mediums of photography and sculpture Samnang often takes historical visual imagery and gives it a contemporary take.

In his new sculptural series Samnang creates sculptures made from hair sourced from roadside barbers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is fascinated in women's beauty rituals of hair removal, skin polishing and makeup application.

'It seems they do not like their natural beauty or their shape. Some other women use makeup, applying powder and drawing around their eyes. They even have surgery to adjust their eyelids so they get bigger eyes. They are like birds, with multi-colored hair and big round eyes. Some of them have their ears pierced with many holes and have their noses pierced. Perhaps they like and love cattle, or they might want to be powerful and strong like those animals. Some others use chemical substances to change their hair color to blonde, so it is the color of corn'

Samnang's take on women's beauty rituals, looks like a shamanistic sideshow. His sculptures and installations take the form of animal and vegetable, their features trapped behind layers and mattes of collected hair. Women's attachment to beauty and betterment is one that can be traced through history, through Angkorian times to the present, but Cambodian girls are having a new revolution of beauty influenced by Western ideals and fashions.

Java Café & Gallery was established in 2000 as a unique combination of a café and gallery to support the growth of a dynamic art scene in Cambodia.

For expressions of Interest, exhibitions and Inquires please contact Dana Langlois or Ali Sanderson a