Our City Festival
Our City Festival is Cambodia’s first and only public festival to bring together creatives from Cambodian cities to focus on urbanism and it’s influence on contemporary culture. Initiated in 2008 by Java Arts to acknowledge the city’s accelerated urban change and its intersection with the surge of activity within the contemporary arts. Presenting art and architecture themed exhibitions, events, performances, screenings, talks, and workshops, Our City examines Phnom Penh’s present, remembers its past, and imagines the future.

JavaArts Lab Projects 2012

Full Circle
Amy Lee Sanford
Durational performance over 6 days
March, 2012

Performance space provided by Meta House

Full Circle is a piece forged over time.  Sitting amid a circle of 40 Kompong Chhnang clay pots, Amy broke and meticulously glued each pot back together, over the course of six days.  After each pot was glued, she used string to hold the pieces together, before returning the pot to the circle.  This repetition of breaking and remaking brings attention to cycles of trauma, both personal and historical. Full Circle is a meditative and introspective performance, one that reflects the slow, complex process of mending and transforming.  For the artist, the physical and mental challenge of maintaining the concentration and patience to carry out the task was an integral part of the piece.

Srey Bandaul
Sculptures and installation
October – November 2012

Presented during Our City Festival 2012

“Injured” is an existential exploration by artist and teacher Srey Bandaul. Building on the philosophical foundations of Buddhism, the artist underscores one of the core concepts that if we let go of fears and desires that our “injuries” would diminsh. Srey says: “Even life is that simple, but a huge number of people are struggling with fears and tiredness because of their desire to be famous, reputable, rich and powerful and to have high level status; and sometimes they dare to invade other people, other countries, nations and other natures. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but when the end of the life comes everything is melted and lost.”

This work is the result of Srey Bandaul’s residency in New York City through the support of the Asian Cultural Council. It has been realized through additional support from Van Cleve Fine Arts.

Artist-in-Residence (inaugural event)
For three months, performance artist Anida Yoeu Ali, set up a studio space in the arts lab where she experimented with public engagement and art making. This process lead to an exhibition that transformed the gallery-café into an interactive, and provocative, space.

With additional support from Van Cleve Fine Arts

Full catalogue here

The Space Between Inside/Outside
Anida Yoeu Ali
Photography, sculpture, video, performance and installation

Spanning photography, video, sculpture, performance and installation, “The Space Between Inside/Outside” examines the areas between the playful and the reflective, performance and the real, proximity and distance.

In uniting these layers of her work, the artist ties these different elements together with aesthetic and conceptual threads of the ‘white cube’ and a red stool. As a counterpoint to the Western concept of the White Cube, the repeated use of the red stool, not only locates the artist within the individual works, but localizes the works themselves to their Cambodian context.

Past Projects

The Hawker’s Song: The Hawker’s Song focuses on the lives of Cambodian street hawkers, their songs, their daily hardships and the effects of urban development and modernisation on their lives. It is one of the first major video art works to be made in and about Cambodia. It was created through an international collaboration between Cambodian artists Srey Bandaul and Meas Sokhorn and Australian artists Keith Deverell and Sue McCauley, with sound tracks composed and performed by Corey Sands and Keith Deverell (SONE).

The Hawker’s Song was commissioned for the Visual Arts Program of the Melbourne International Arts Festival 2010. It is in the collection of the Singapore Art Museum, and was recently exhibited at Video: An Art, A History at the Singapore Art Musuem in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou.

Pop-up Artspaces: An exciting initiative by artXprojects, Pop-up Artspaces, supported by JavaArts and commissioned for Our City, is a collaborative between curators Natalie Pace and Kate O’Hara and artists invited to participate. It is based on participatory art practices and puts art in public spaces making it accessible by the Cambodian public, offering opportunities for engagement.

You Khin Memorial Women’s Art Prize: The first ever art prize for Cambodian women, You Khin Memorial Women’s Art Prize, in collaboration with the US Embassy (Cambodia) was launched in March 2010. The competition aims to bringing awareness of the emerging art scene and the women that are part of it. Working with local and international media, the Cambodian government, and educational institutions, the competition will highlight both up-coming and established women in the arts community and encourage a future generation.

Sala Artspace: From 2006 and 2007, Java Café & Gallery, with additional support from private donors, established an art center (Sala Artspace) for the purpose of creative exchange and producing art events. During that time, over 50 artists were involved in community meetings, exhibitions and workshops. As a result several artists have started their own independent groups and JavaArts was established to continue the promotion and support of emerging Cambodian artists.