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Sopheap Pich b. 1971, Battambang, Cambodia. Lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Sopheap’s family left Cambodia as refugees in 1979. Having first settled in camps in Thailand and the Philippines, they arrived in the United States in 1984 at age 13 years old and began his formal education.
He took art classes in Junior High School but shifted his passion to wood shop in high school and worked as a stagehand in college. He first majored in Pre-Med but later switched to Fine Arts in his Sophomore year, a choice that allowed him to travel to France, Italy and Mexico and led him to spent a year in Paris studying at the national art school at Cergy Pontoise. These travels impacted his views of the possibilities and limitations of art that have guided his thinking since.
He returned to Cambodia 2002. And in 2004, began making sculptures using rattan and bamboo, his main materials to this day. Aside from working on his art, he also owns a farm in the Kirirom Mountain areas where he plants hardwood trees, coconuts and date palms.
His works has been shown at dOCUMENTA 13, the Venice Biennale, the Asia Pacific Triennale, among others. And are in major museums collections including the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the National Gallery of Singapore, M+ Hong Kong, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, among others.
[…] Sopheap Pich lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We spoke on April 14 when he reported that after a year of decent management of the pandemic, a small number of people emerged from a hotel while infected with COVID and quickly spread the disease across the entire country. This sudden spike is quickly becoming very scary for Pich and his studio staff of 13. When we spoke he was considering building extra beds for his staff to use should they no longer be able to travel to and from their homes across the city. Most recently, Pich and his staff have just finished a sculpture of a Kapok fruit for a local group show. For 30 years, the artist has been fascinated by the shape of boats but has never known what to do with this interest. Building this fruit sculpture allowed him to turn this shape into a reality. To hear more, including what Pich has been working on since the beginning of the pandemic and how dead trees have factored into his work, listen to the complete interview. […]