For those who move through Phnom Penh in a hurry, be they tourists or people who live here, it is sometimes difficult to perceive, as in all big cities, the numerous groups, communities, and small neighborhoods that resemble enclosed villages. There is nothing spectacular about the community of fishermen and yet it is singular, unique and linked with the river which is so fundamental to the identity of the capital by bringing together the hard work and a very particular way of life, between nomadism and terra firma. They are not sailors as they live clustered on the banks, these fishing families which constitute an own population. They are photographed here with a delicate closeness, familiarity and touching sympathy, linked to a careful choice of shots, composition, and small meaningful occurrences, without falling into the anecdotal. In each image we feel a concern for the proper distance, difficult to arrive at but necessary to preserve the dignity of the people photographed who do us the honor of welcoming us in a natural way. This is indispensable when developing a documentary “story” about a world that the viewer does not know and that the photographer strives to make him discover and understand.
Born in 1989 in Cambodia. Lives and works in Phnom Penh.
Neak Sophal is a student of Communication Designs at the Royal University of Fine Arts. She participates at the Studio Image since January 2010.
A collective exhibition, reflecting the richness and diversity of approaches of young students who are undergoing their initiation to photography at the French Cultural Center and at the Royal University of Fine Arts.