Monday, April 22, 2024

Reaksmey Yean

The portrait is R. Yean, Sea forest at Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, ©Norm Phanith, 2017

H.R.H. (His Rebel/Revolt Highness) The Articurizer (Art[ist] Curator, Articulator/Writer, Researcher, and Art Advocate)

A native of Battambang, Reaksmey Yean is a self-proclaimed art advocate, an early-career art curator, writer, and researcher. Currently, he is a program director and co-founder of Silapak Trotchaek Pneik, a contemporary art space by YK Art House. He is also a part-time lecturer at Phnom Penh International Institute of the Art (PPIIA). Reaksmey is a research affiliate at Center for Khmer Studies and a Co-Investigator on Phase 2 Large Grant project ‘Contemporary Arts Making and Creative Expression Among Young Cambodians.

Yean is an Alphawood scholar (SOAS, the University of London for Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art – in Indian, Chinese, and Southeast Asian Art). He was an exchange scholar at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs, Chiang Mai University. He is an inaugural SEAsia Award Scholar (2017) of LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, an Asian Cultural Council fellow (2018), and a beneficiary of Dr. Karen Mcleod Adair grant for MA in Asian Art Histories at LASALLE College of the Arts.

Yean was a curator for creative programs at Java Creative Café, Phnom Penh. Prior, he served several senior posts, including an Assistant to School of Performing Arts, at Phare Ponleu Selpak, a multi-disciplinary arts center, where he received his early education. He is also a founding father of a defunct collective named Trotchaek Pneik, a cultural and artistic collective based in Battambang.

Yean is interested in multi-disciplinary practices (Film, Visual, and Performing Arts). As an Art Advocate, Yean is involved in the promotion of art and culture and their histories within contemporary Cambodia via curatorial practices, art criticism, and cultural pundit. As a scholar, Yean is concerned with Buddhist Arts, Contemporary and Modern Arts, Southeast Asia, Cultural Diplomacy, and Post-colonial theory.

The books mentioned in the interview were: Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation, Of Grammatology, and The Truth in Painting.

Dinh Q. Lê, Splendor and Darkness #32, 2017, Foiling and screen-print on Stonehenge paper, cut, weaved and burned, 221 x330 cm, Courtesy of Reaksmey Yean
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  1. […] Reaksmey Yean spoke to us from Cambodia at the end of July 2020. He reported that Cambodia has been relatively lucky in terms of lower rates of infection and that things were slowly returning to a new normal. When we spoke, he was busy with a few personal projects including work on a novel, but his main focus has been trying to get his gallery open. The pandemic was a major setback, but Yean, undaunted, continues to move forward toward this goal. The gallery will house work by artists from around Southeast Asia. Yean works as a curator, artist, writer, researcher and art activist and was the founder of an art collective. To hear more from Reaksmey Yean about his work, his philosophy on art and other pieces of his complex career, listen to the complete interview. […]


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