October 16 – November 18, 2012. Open daily from 9 am to 11 pm
The East Gallery, 334 Dundas Street West, Toronto (across from the AGO)
Wednesday, October 17, 5.30 – 9 pm
Artist Chat PierSath in attendance. Cambodian dancer Leak will perform a piece.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 11 am - 12.30 pm: Coffee and chat with American-Cambodian artist Chath PierSath at the gallery.
Thursday, October 25; 7.30 – 9 pm: Documentary “The Lotus That Went to the Sea”
Canadian premiere of documentary about Cambodia’s post genocide art scene. Please click here for more information and to reserve free tickets
Thursday, November 1: 7.30 – 9 pm: Author’s Talk – Kim Echlin, author of the novel ‘The Disappeared’
Please click here for more information and to reserve free tickets
Saturday, November 3, 3 – 5.30 pm: Joint Event of the East Gallery & the ROM’s Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC)
3 pm: Start at the ROM with tour of the ICC’s “Observance and Memorial: Photos from S-21, Cambodia” exhibition
4 pm: Curated tour of “Identities” exhibition at the East Gallery
Thursday, November 8: Reel Asian Film Festival event
Friday, November 9: Reel Asian Film Festival event
About the exhibition
The work of the new generation of Cambodian artists, many of whom were born after the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, is shaped by the country’s traumatic past and the whirlwind changes Cambodia has been undergoing since it has rebranded itself as a modern Southeast Asian economy.
In a country where most artists were killed during the genocide and where many cultural artifacts and traditions were destroyed, young artists appear less constrained by tradition and cultural taboos than their counterparts in neighboring countries. The nude photographic self-portraits of Heng Ravuth
for example, appear almost voyeuristic while Oeur Sokuntevy
, one of the few female Cambodian artists, openly addresses sexuality and relationship issues in paintings of herself and her lovers. Hour Seyha
draws on his personal experience of having to illegally cross the border into neighboring Thailand as a child laborer to help his impoverished family.
Identity is not only how one sees oneself, but also how one sees others. Pen Robit’s
portraits of people in traditional Khmer clothing appear to have their faces etched out, while the identity of the seemingly familiar faces in Chath PierSath’s
collages has been completely erased. Identities can also change, as in the series of photographs by Chan Moniroth
that show a street child morphing into a Cambodian Cinderella.