RAM Performance/Dialogue： Khvay Samnang: Preah Kunlong (The way of the spirit)
Jun 22, 2019 Saturday 18:30 - 20:00
Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District)
In the Preah Kunlong (The way of the spirit) project, Khvay Samnang built a lasting relationship with the Chong people by embedding himself in their communities for a non-consecutive period of one year. The Chong people live in the southwestern Koh Kong province of Cambodia, primarily in the Areng Valley. As part of the last great forest in Cambodia, Areng Valley itself is marked by the geopolitical threat of environmental devastation, due to the development of a large hydroelectric dam (Cheay Areng Dam).
Samnang grew to understand the manner in which the Chong people map their land as a method founded on ancestral and oral histories, meaning that the spiritual territory of the Areng Valley forest is determined through the incorporation of such histories. The research and the production of objects—masks, costumes, drawings etc., —are imbued with spiritual beliefs, political concerns, and everyday life.
The performance will be realized by the choreographer/dancer Nget Rady, who is in collaboration with Samnang in this project, incorporating the communities’ expressed relationships to particular animals, waters, and lands. This theme of body-to-body transference permeates the entire project, and within this method of knowledge accumulation and dissemination lies the inherent connection of the Chong people with their land, as well as their most powerful form of resistance. Following the performance, a conversation will be held between Hsieh Feng-Rong, Senior curator of RAM as well as one of the curators of the exhibition, Khvay Samnang and Nget Rady, unveiling their reflections behind the performance project.
Nget Rady began his dance training in 1999, specializing in the monkey role of Lakhaon Kaol, the Cambodian classical male masked dance form. As a classical dancer, Rady has toured to Europe and throughout Asia and as a contemporary dancer has performed in numerous works of contemporary dance as well as participated in many contemporary dance workshops.
Khvay Samnang’s multidisciplinary practice offers new perspectives on historical and current events as well as on traditional cultural rituals. Engaging directly and personally with local communities is an integral part of his work, whether through video, performance, photography or installation works.
Hsieh Feng-Rong is senior curator and founding staff member of Rockbund Art Museum; he joined Rockbund Art Museum in 2009 during its preparatory stage. He was the coordinator of the renovation process and implemented the institutional structure of the museum. In 2013, he got involved in founding the first HUGO BOSS ASIA ART award and was also the project manager for the award. With the rise and development of Arts Museum in China, Hsieh is concerned about the changing roles this institute should play and how it can retain its self-criticality. He continues to explore the relationships between arts and the audience and how these relationships can be redefined. Recently, he focuses on topics related to performance as method and has curated a series of talks and events along this line of thinking. Meanwhile, he hopes to inspire more cross-cultural and cross-regional conversations, furthering explorations of mechanism of visuality. Recent exhibitions curated by Hsieh include: “Walking on the Fade out Lines” (co-curated with Larys Frogier, 2018, Shanghai), “Tell Me a Story: Locality and Narrative” (co-curated with Amy Cheng, 2018, Fondazione Sandretto, Turin), “RAM HIGHLIGHT 2018: Is It My Body?” (2018, Shanghai).
Free admission, reservation is required.