Sa Sa Art Projects
Spirit of Community
Sa Sa Art Projects is more than an art collective. It is a community: a community of artists, students, collaborators, supporters, and audience. It is the energy that extends from our founding arts collective to foster a larger creative community that embodies the spirit of Sa Sa Art Projects.
Here in this online exhibition, Sa Sa Art Projects presents a series of works that deals with spirituality and how it animates in specific communities. Sa Sa co-founder Khvay Samnang introduces some intimate domestic portraits of residents in the former 1960s housing block White Building. Their faces are covered by artistic masks as if personifying their beyond-human essence. This anonymity draws the viewers’ attention to their surrounding which performs as their identity in the absence of their faces. Another Sa Sa co-founder Vuth Lyno re-constructs the White Building community's collective spirit through a sculptural installation of shrines collected from this neighbourhood before the building was demolished for new development. These shrines are spirit houses of various kinds worshiped by the resident families. They are the living yet inaudible memory, history, and spirit of the White Building community and Phnom Penh city.
Sao Sreymao, graduated from Sa Sa, offers a series of haunting images of a changing community in the northern part of Cambodia affected by environmental degradation. Forced to relocate because the village was flooded by dam construction, the villagers' disappearances are traced by digital sketches over photographs. Soojin Chang, a former Sa Sa artist-in-residence, challenges our understanding of sacrifice in a 2-channel video which depicts sacrificial animal ritual practiced by Kreung people in Ratanakiri province, and public funeral rituals by the artist accompanied by a funeral facilitator and sound maker Khvay Loeung.
Together, these four artists exemplify a micro yet compelling network of creative energy and a spirit of artistic community from Phnom Penh and beyond. Their works offer and confront the locations of spirits and practices of spirituality by some of the Cambodian communities.