Is It Morning For You Yet?58th Carnegie International


Vandy Rattana

Born in Cambodia in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge and having grown up in Phnom Penh, Vandy Rattana (b. 1980, Phnom Penh; lives in Taipei) portrays episodes of historical violence through understated and tranquil images. He began his photography practice in 2005. His serial work employed a range of analog cameras and formats, straddling the line between strict photojournalism and artistic practice.

His recent works mark a shift in philosophy surrounding the relationship between historiography and image making. For Vandy Rattana, photographs are now fictional constructions, abstract and poetic surfaces, histories of their own.

Since the photographic work and documentary Bomb Ponds (2009), in which his photos of bomb craters articulate the psychological wounds of Cambodians who survived American carpet bombing between 1964 and 1973, Vandy Rattana has been scanning the idyllic Cambodian countryside with his viewfinders and revealing its traumatic past. After his first short-film MONOLOGUE (2015), he released the short-film FUNERAL in 2018 and …far away, over there, the ocean (2019).

In 2007, he was one of the co-founders of Stiev Selapak / Art Rebels, and in 2009 he was also one of the co-founders of Sa Sa Art Gallery. He contributed, in 2011, to establish SA SA BASSAC, the first dedicated exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Cambodia. In 2014, he also co-founded Ponleu Association (non-profit); which aims to provide access to international reference books, through their translation and publication in Khmer. Ponleu also publishes its own books, focusing on various fields of knowledge (philosophy, literature, science, etc.)