Lo-Fi Photographs of Swedish Artist Shown in Phnom Penh

Festival features work by international and local photographers

From Saturday to Dec 6, Phnom Penh will be a bit more graphic as the Photo­Phnom­Penh festival kicks off with works by international and local photographers displayed through­out the city.

“There is not a particular theme but the public can find some kind of dialogues between the exhibitions,” said Alain Arnaudet, director of the French Cultural Center. “Our focus is to give the opportunity to the public to discover the work of young artists from all around the world.”

Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjork documents everyday life in a dreamy, lo-fi manner, a rarity in today’s cutting-edge photography scene.

“I’m attracted to the most common everyday things that can be a bit boring,” Mr Tunbjork said.

Mr Tunbjork is showing three sets of images and participating in the Intersection project, where a young Cambodian photographer works with a European photographer during the festival and will present the results on Dec 4.

One set of images, focused on offices from Sweden, the US and Japan, will be displayed inside O’Russei Market. Mr Tunbjork said the workplaces differed greatly but he chose to focus on offices because it was one of the most common everyday settings in the world.

The second collection is im­ages of consumerism and commercialism during the 1990s in Sweden.

“It was a big change, an enormous transformation from social democracy to something more Westernized,” he said.

He will also show images from his “Vinter” series, which looks at Sweden’s cold and dark winter and its effects on people’s minds.

Sean Lee, a 25-year-old Singa­pore-based photographer, who primarily works in fashion, re­turns to Cambodia this year after participating in the 2007 Angkor Photo Fest in Siem Reap. Shauna, his muse, also makes her second trip to the country. In “The Life of Shauna,” Mr Lee dresses up as his alter ego Shauna, a transsexual woman, and documents her life.

“I was alone and I thought I should act in my photos,” he said in an interview. “I didn’t think about it too much at the time but then I realized I didn’t want my work to stop.”

Although he is the creator of and controls Shauna, Mr Lee said after three years, Shauna has made her own impact on his life by revealing to him his frustrations with traditional social notions, his desires and his thoughts on sexuality.

Mr Lee updates his Shauna exhibit by creating new photos that feature his parents, a big step considering that Mr Lee said his father wouldn’t even talk to him when the photographer first started dressing as Shauna.

Mr Lee said to capture one of Shauna’s nights out he enlists his friends to help him as he stays in his Shauna persona the whole evening.

“When I get into character, I’m a new person and it’s exciting,” he said.

Mr Lee’s exhibit will open at the Bodega, across from the Nat­ional Museum, on Saturday.

For the complete festival schedule, visit www.ccf-cambodge.org/ppp.php.




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