The silence that screams – Photography by Kak Sok Phirom

Silent grief speaks volumes in Cambodia during the Covid19 times. Photographer Kak Sok Phirom captures the change that has come over citizens and the screams within them.

A PEEK AT SIEM REAP’S ARTIST NAK NOY BY DAVID MUSKETT…read

THE MOST POWERFUL SYMBOL OF CAMBODIA TRANSFORMS FOR THE TIMES, THANKS TO THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP OF MOK ROTHA…Read

Tributes to those we have recently lost.

A Tribute to Kimarlee Nguyen – Khmer writer taken by corona -19

We have lost a remarkable Khmer writer to COVID -19. Kimarlee Nguyen

RETURN TO K.I.D BY VANNA SEANG – a personal Cambodian odyssey

35-year-old Vanna Seang never got to see the film he directed. The 'Return to K.I.D' documentary is Vanna's personal legacy project. It was the last project he focused on before dying on September 5, 2018, after being diagnosed with a rare blood condition. Those that...

Cambodian Field notes from Haley & Sothy

Editor's Note: Haley and Sothy personify the...

Musings Towards a new language for the arts – meet Reaksmey Yean

Photo of Reaksmey Yean courtesy of រូបថត | ©Norm...

Sharing my Intact Soul

As a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide and...

Why Should a Social Worker Become a Writer?

Some people are genuinely curious while some...

Kho Tararith: Breathing Life into Cambodian Literature

By Chath pierSath   As a Khmer writer and...

Our contributing authors reflect on Cambodia’s history and its contemporary challenges. Meet Chath pierSath, Sokunthea Oum, Phina So, Haley Jacobson and Sothy Than.

Sithis Yim Samnang, Yeng Chheangly, Phino So, and Chath pierSath honor Cambodia’s poetry traditions with new voices, questions, and powerful imagery.

Sharp Eyes – By Sithis Yim Samnang

Editor's note:  We hope you read this short piece out loud to discover its eloquence in rhythm and sound. Written while thinking of the images in the"First They Killed My Father" movie, it speaks to contemporary times throughout troubled neighborhoods and nations....

The Orange Silk Dress by Sithis Yim Samnang

The Orange Silk Dress by Sithis Yim Samnang   Between our dreams fear in realities meet the unfortunate bravery captured an uncalled treachery.   My mother sewed a dress made of orange silk wounded her hand and her mouth with needle made weapon, to quilt the...

A Nail the Evening Hangs On – review of Monika sok’s debut book by Chath Piersath

From the publisher Copper Canyon Press:  In this staggering poetry debut, Monica Sok illuminates the experiences of Cambodian diaspora and reflects on America’s role in escalating the genocide in Cambodia. A Nail the Evening Hangs On travels from Phnom Penh to Siem...

Chin Meas – Monk, Noodle Man & Revered Poet

Thanks to my fellow poet YENG Chheangly, I have learned to admire CHIN Meas. I invited him to our Khmer Literature Festival in 2017 and he has returned for the following years. Both his life and his personhood deserve our attention. Many of his poems have a Buddhist...

I see you & Khmer Dogs – Poems by Yeng Chheangly

I see you   You’re a soldier                                     ​ A wanderer and a beggar You beg at bus stations and in the market                          By clasping your palms together. Young people like me ask                                  ​ Whether you’re...

Experiments in video Poetry – Yeng Chheangly

Mekong River speak out her grief to villagers. Created from the inspiration of documenting the images of Tommyo Costa Ito.    នេះគឺជាវីដេអូនកំណាព្យទីបីហើយ ដែលខ្ញុំ បានរៀនផលិត។ លើកនេះ ខ្ញុំបានដកស្រងយកច្បាប់ប្រុសដោយបណ្ឌិត ម៉ឺង ម៉ៃ មកបង្ហាញ...

An old book & The Sound of Tro – Poems by Yeng Chheangly

An Old Book   Books on the shelf are in categories, Well kept and arranged in order, While one lies elsewhere, Is covered in thick dust.   Kept but never cared for, Tossed into a corner, An outcast from the new shelved books, Fearful it may destroy the shelf’s proper...

This Body Mystery – By Chath pierSath

This Body Mystery - Painting and poem by Chath pierSath Briefcase Owner Combination lock regrets and memories Buried over the years.   Stored in pockets pictures of his wife and children – A resume of a border camp a diary to forget.   He jotted down the...

Kho Tararith: Breathing Life into Cambodian Literature

By Chath pierSath   As a Khmer writer and poet living in the U.S., I straddle two worlds. I write while torn by confusion about where home is, the risk of stagnation, and the danger of being a body in stasis, writing with a mind in constant grief and a heart...

Words Sprouting Lives – Poetry from Writing Through

Poetry builds fresh connections between the old and the new, and between the familiar and the unconventional. It is a sublime voice of the personality of the human being who makes the poem, and of those who read it with appreciation. Like all art, it is a form of experience. Seldom are these experiences generated in schools or homes across the world’s landscapes. In Cambodia, these experiences rarely exist.

Channy Chhoeun Art – A Modern Khmer Audubon

Channy Chhoeun Art Channy Chhoeun looks like he stepped out of a Hollywood movie set. In many ways, he represents the Cambodian version of Adonis, the Greek god of beauty and desire. He is poised and paints elegant images of birds and nature. Thousands and thousands...

Chov Theanly – The Honest Painter

Chov Theanly announced years ago that he wanted to be an honest painter. His work accomplishes this with masterful skill and a powerful inquiry into life in Cambodia and beyond.

Ka-Lai Chan & MANAVA – The Designer in the Midst of Cambodia

Ka-Lai Chan had been on my horizon long before I moved to Cambodia. I was familiar with her home and furniture design so when I learned she had started MANAVA, a company supporting women artisans by creating artful rattan products, I set out to find her in Krobey Riel...

KAMA, KRWF, & the Cambodian Space Project – How Julien Poulson Energizes Rock ‘n’ Roll & the Arts

Julien Poulson, founder of the Cambodian Space Project & KAMA It's impossible to get a sense of contemporary Cambodia without an introduction to Julien Poulson, founder of the Cambodian Space Project, Kampot Arts & Music Association (KAMA) and Kampot Readers...

Nak Noy – Diamonds in rough times

Nak Noy is the proud owner of probably the coolest (but also sensible) scooter on the market. He’s just stepped off it in boat-size trainers. “Chunky. Huge feet? Skinny legs.”

Sacred Ink Lotus Art – The Calm Conjuring of Morrison Polkinghorne

148913: Paths of the Lotus Ink by Morrison Polkinghorne at Bangkok, Thailand's Serindia Gallery Sacred Ink Lotus Art by Morrison Polkinghorne I kept bumping into Morrison Polkinghorne on my first visit to Battambang during the 2019 S’Art Urban Art Festival.  S'Art...

Serey Siv- Siem Reap’s Young Rennaisance Man

Cambodia Art: It's a tall order to be described as a 'Renaissance Man'  but Serey Siv is a tall man. He seems to have the qualities required for such a label: curiosity, perseverance, self-discipline, a thirst for new experiences and understanding, a risk-taker, an...

The Whimsical Trash Art of Monisilong Riem, aka Selong Vat

Cambodian Trash Art:  See Selong Originals  Artist Riem Mony Selong (AKA Monisilong Riem, Selong Vat) works with waste and garbage. He is a trash art artist of Cambodia. He plays with waste, lives with waste, and struggles to etch out his living with waste – but don’t...

Touch Khchao – The Buddha Mind in Battambang

Cambodian art: The Buddha Mind in Battambang She sits nimbly on the floor, robed in blue, her color of choice for the last several years.  Khchao Touch is an artist in Battambang and she and her husband, Darren Swallow, have been deeply entwined in the Cambodian art...

Van Chhovorn – The Enduring Man Etching his Life into Art

There are times one is drawn to an artist for reasons that seem difficult to articulate but rumble inside you like an ancient memory resurfacing. Such it is with my relationship with Van Chhovorn and his sculptures and paintings. Holding a wood carving of his in my hands emits feelings far beyond their sight, touch or smell. The wood quietly whispers to me of a life, a family, and a culture that I may witness but never quite know. To many, this will sound hackneyed but to me, it is the gift that art sometimes offers.

 

Artists
 

Art is in Cambodia’s DNA.  Meet some of the artists transforming their communities.

 

 

“If you can keep something very personal, like a song, like a color, like a story, deep in your heart, then nobody can destroy that. Nobody can destroy your imagination; nobody can destroy your love.”

Rithy Panh

The Bold Women on Men’s Road – New Cambodian Artists

Cambodia Art & Dance: New Cambodian Artists
It is impossible for me to be objective in writing about the New Cambodian Artists – so I will not even try to hide my deep admiration for this female dance company in Siem Reap. Having seen hundreds of dance performances in my lifetime, these women strike me as the boldest and most intriguing I am ever encountered.

Their stories are not unlike those they share with so many others in Cambodia. They have intimately known poverty, exclusion from their families and friends for their choices to be artists, ridicule for not fulfilling traditional women’s roles, and stigmatization from the Aspara authorities for their right to dance without adhering to traditional forms.

DANCE

ON EARTH BENEATH SKY EXPLORES THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE

Chath pierSaths’snew book On Earth Between Sky is 68 intense yet soothing reflections in poetry and prose on life in Cambodia and the US – a strong new Khmer work to embrace.

New publications of Khmer literature

Medha – The Women Who Broke the Taboo

Meet the bold women drummers in Cambodia. It was taboo for a woman to touch a drum in Cambodia. Medha turned history into herstory.

Music is a life force behind the human experience. It emerges out of culture and in turn, it can shape and influence culture. Its power can be used towards emancipation – or as a destructive tool for domination. Power is omnipresent.

Bangsokol – A Requiem for Cambodia

Cambodia Art: BANGSOKOL...

Music

Championing the Creators

Simply put, we know Cambodia is magic, and it is our role to champion Khmer creators the world over, to the world over.

We are painfully aware of the effect of Corona19 is having on the economy of the nation and the struggles that people are facing.

We are a team of like-minded, creative professionals with a deep respect for Cambodia. Whether it is the emergent phenomena from turbulence, the surprises lurking around any given corner, or the outpouring of a compelling story, this is the magic of Cambodia. We are enchanted by it and we will show you why.

We sincerely invite your ideas and contributions. We know your eyes are upon Cambodia.  Your voice is welcome.  We are obviously not a news or travel site, so please understand our focus is on contemporary arts and culture.

Please contact us with your thoughts. Feel free to write in Khmer or English.

Use the form below or send us a message on our Facebook page.

7 + 4 =

in pictures – Cambodia through your eyes

Photograph by Bunnawath ChhunIn Pictures Magical Cambodia is collecting original photographs taken by Khmers, ex-pats, and visitors from around the world. We know you have your favorite photographs of Cambodia's life and landscapes that speak to you. Please share them...

The silence that screams – Photography by Kak Sok Phirom

Silent grief speaks volumes in Cambodia during the Covid19 times. Photographer Kak Sok Phirom captures the change that has come over citizens and the screams within them.