Human Nature, 2010-11 By Khvay Samnang

“The Building is alive! There are trees growing out from the walls! The Building has life! The people in the Building, that live there, they have so much life. It is a community that has a lovely feeling. You know, my students there, they call that feeling snit snaal—it means so warm, and so friendly, and so lovely—and it is strong. It is a very strong feeling. From outside, people are scared. They see the violence and the falling down building and they don’t know, they don’t know what it is inside. […] If you want to know, you have to come, and not just talk, but enjoy! And spend time, not just one hour or one day.” – Khvay Samnang

“All the photographs in Human Nature were taken in the White Building. These are portraits of people in their own homes: simple apartments that have been variously adapted over time in a process of personalizing an already vernacularized ‘International Style’ modernist architecture. The White Building is the setting for these photographs, and their inspiration. Yet, as the title of the series suggests, they transcend this context. They balance admiration and pity, concealment and revelation, the specific and the universal.” – Roger Nelson

The above texts are excerpts from “Khvay Samnang’s Human Nature” by Roger Nelson, catalogue essay published by Tomio Koyama Gallery, Singapore, May 2014. Full text available here.