Optical Screens & The Earth by MARINE KY

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(Image: Plate 9 + 5, Marine Ky, softground etching and stencil, 2015)

Optical Screens & The Earth
Curated by Dana Langlois
Hosted by Meta House

Exhibition opening 7pm Thursday, 4 June, 2015
Showing: 4 – 28 June 2015
Meta House
37 Samdach Sothearos Blvd
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This exhibition spans fifteen years of selected work by textile and print artist Marine Ky. The very act of seeing, observing and transforming form an important part of Marine’s practice.  When talking about the meticulous detail in her work, she says “The attention to detail involves the act of repeatedly looking in the same section and still find things to look at. For the maker, it implies working and concentrating oneself on the same section, over again and again, and sitting in one place, staying in one place, around a daily routine.”

For Marine, printmaking is a process that both destroys and creates – and in that moment in between a moment is captured.  When creating works with textiles and objects, they are forever changed by the printing process and essentially destroyed for all practical purposes. The act of transformation, the passing of time and ephemerality is where Marine finds beauty. The sometimes fragile or translucent quality of her works reminds us that nothing is permanent.

The exhibition is “bookended” between two series, starting with self-portraits, dating 2000, which mimic pop-art and themes of mass reproduction vs. originality.  Each piece is uniquely made but seem like a copy of one another.  Here the hand-made process disrupts the illusion of mechanical processes and asserts the importance of making.  Exploring similar themes in her latest works from 2015, the exhibition ends with the “plate series” that exaggerate digital mechanisms of dots and pixels.  They are layered with rich and detailed textiles and employ optical devices to imply, again, a contrast between maker and machine.

Marine Ky was born in 1966 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is one of the rare female artists of her generation, (of predominantly Chinese heritage) to be based back in Cambodia, after a lifetime’s education in the West. She self-taught printmaking at the Australian Print workshop in Melbourne, before completing a Masters by Research at the School of Art in Hobart, University of Tasmania, Australia. Recent solo exhibitions include L’ Epiderme de la Terre II (Mekong), Concourse, the Esplanade, Singapore and group exhibitions include Changing Room, Corn Market, Cork, Ireland, Receptacle, I Light Festival, Marina Bay, Singapore. Her community inspired work Happy Art Home was part of Parallel Realities, Fukuoka Triennial of Asian Contemporary Art.

Ky’s prints can be found in public and private art collections in Australia, Japan and France, Switzerland, U.S.A. & Canada and have been seen in group exhibitions worldwide, including international print competitions. She has been artist in residence at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, Chiangmai University Art Museum, Thailand, School of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Japan.

Ky’s work mixed media work and architectural textile installations merge from both European intaglio printing and Khmer engraving techniques, art and craft, art and life. She is currently based in Battambang, Cambodia.

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