Khvay Samnang (Cambodia) has a multidisciplinary practice which offers new views on historic and current events as well as on traditional cultural rituals using humorous symbolic gestures. In his work he focuses on the humanitarian and ecological impacts of colonialism and globalisation. The development of each body of work is based on thorough research and investigation of local specificities, structures and conditions. Traveling is a crucial tool for his practice and engaging directly and personally with local communities – within and beyond the cultural scene – is an integral part of his work.

During his residency at Delfina, Khvay plans to develop his performance work Popil.

Khvay graduated from the painting department at the Royal University of Fine Art in Phnom Penh, where he lives and works today. He has had international solo exhibitions including at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2019); Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara (2016); Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2015); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2015); Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore (2014). His work has also been included in Taipei Biennial (2018), Turner Contemporary, Margate; Biennale of Sydney (2018); DOCUMENTA 14; Singapore Biennale (2014).

Khvay Samnang is a founding member of Stiev Selapak, an art collective dedicated to reappraising and remembering Cambodian history and exploring continuities in visual practices disrupted by civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime. In 2010/11, Stiev Selapak set up two nonprofit art spaces in Phnom Penh: Sa Sa Art Projects, for experimental residencies, knowledge-sharing, and community-based programs; and SA SA BASSAC, a gallery, resource center, and reading room. He teaches Contemporary Art Class to emerging Cambodian artists under the programme of Sa Sa Art Projects. In 2016 was nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize, Ukraine, in 2015 he was nominated for Prix Pictet Prize; AIGA AGO Photography Prize Long List, Canada; the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong; and Prudential Eye Awards Best Emerging Artist in Asia Using Photography, Singapore.

With support from

Delfina Foundation’s Network of Asia-Pacific Patrons


Artist’s website

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Please note all artist-in-residence biographies are accurate at the time of their residency. For up-to-date bios please visit the artist’s website.