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CAG 8th show - Waterworks
Waterworks | Instalations
March 28 – August 31, 2017

The Asia Foundation Community Art Gallery is proud to announce the opening of “Waterworks” a solo art exhibition featuring the unique installation of Phe Sophon, one of Cambodia’s emerging young artists. Phe Sophon has shown his artistic works at several exhibitions domestically and internationally (in the United States, Japan, France and China). Sophon’s ongoing questioning of the collective archetype reaffirms the importance of mindfulness in our urban environment.

Sophon fuses plastic water bottles together into larger than life water drops, elliptical shapes and flowing vessels echoing argyle-esque motifs awoken from Khmer script. From touching the lips of their users to lying abandoned on the streets of the city, Sophon’s transformed plastic bottles play on the idea of reclamation through reasserting the central purpose of the object. Of immortal-like, but disused plastic bottles, his artificial droplets hang in mid-air, offering falling rain in perpetual motion, intentionally obstructive in proximity and physical space. In navigating the assembly of discarded bottles, the installation reminds us of the unintentional neglect we show towards our environment and thus to each other, but also of our imagination to spark awareness and offer change.

Solid waste is a mounting concern in Phnom Penh.  Litter is not only a public health issue, but speaks to a acutely visible problem that causes significant burdens to average citizens. The city’s landfill will exceed capacity soon, years ahead of planned use.  Issues regarding solid waste management have led to regular news stories, contentious social media discourse, and demonstrations at City Hall.  The aftermath of the 2016 Water Festival caused a national outcry when tons of waste, including mounds of plastic bottles, were brushed into the Tonle Sap river by clean-up crews.  Sophon reminds us that it through our mindfulness of how we relate to waste and each other — that garbage no longer needs to go unsorted and unrecycled. It no longer needs to spill onto the city streets and it no longer needs to remain in illegal dumping grounds for days before removal. It is our choice — we can start addressing the problem by reusing plastic bottles.

Waterworks“, the Asia Foundation Community Art Gallery’s eighth exhibition, will run for three months from March 28th to June 28th, 2017.

Phe Sophon

Artists: Phe Sophon

Born in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia in 1983, PHE Sophon pursued his passion and completed studies in the Fine Arts. Over the past decade, he has displayed his creations at exhibitions in Hong Kong (2006), Phnom Penh (2007), Shanghai (2008), Tokyo and France (2009) and even performed in the United States (2006). He has chosen to focus his creativity on experimental forms of painting, sculpture and installation pieces.