Immersed in the pulsating heart of Cambodia’s vibrant art scene, Sa Sa Art Projects, a trailblazing, artist-driven space founded in 2010, has embarked on a collaboration with KADIST, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art. Their joint artistic venture, an exhibition titled Myth in Motion, is set to captivate audiences with its engaging exploration of experimental and critical contemporary art practices.

This exhibition, held from June 7 to August 12 at Sa Sa Art Projects in Phnom Penh, is part of KADIST’s Double Takes programme, which seeks to illuminate the transformative potential of film and video works, bringing them to life through a versatile combination of physical presentations and online displays.

Sa Sa Art Projects and KADIST, in their collective vision, have designed an exhibition that showcases a medley of experimental and critical contemporary art forms. This assemblage serves to confront and address the most pressing concerns of our era, thereby solidifying the consequential role artists play in the continual evolution of progressive societies.

The selection includes four artists from KADIST’s video collection and one external artist, chosen incidentally to be all female,” revealed Chum Chanveasna, Sa Sa Art Projects’ manager.

“Presenting video art from international artists for the first time, we hope to inspire our local artists and audience,” she told The Post.

Drawing upon five visually captivating video works from diverse corners of the globe, Myth in Motion ventures into the multifaceted world of visual storytelling, integrating various approaches and genres. These works, liberated from the confines of fixed temporality and spatial limitations, traverse realms real, speculated, and imagined, thereby crafting alternative perspectives to the grand narratives of history.

The exhibition also acknowledges that myths, as they go through continuous reproduction, are not stable, but rather open to reinterpretation and reinvention.

“These pieces elegantly oscillate between reality and fantasy, probing the conditions of various regions whilst challenging our critical rationalisation and imagination of our past, present, and future,” Chanveasna observes.

The five international female artists with their artworks

The five international artists are Ana Vaz from Brazil, Thao Nguyen Phan of Vietnam, Ana María Millan of Colombia-and Germany, Martha Atienza of the Philippines, and Connie Zheng of China and the US.

Visitors view Myth in Motion during the opening day of the exhibition on June 7. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Vaz’s film Ha Terra! (There Is Land!) echoes the defiant cries of “ha terra!” symbolising the struggle for land rights. With its stirring visuals and hypnotic sound loops, Vaz entices viewers into a contemplative journey, erasing temporal boundaries and bridging the past with the present.

Similarly, Thao Nguyen Phan’s piece, Tropical Siesta, presents a mesmerising two-channel video that delves into a fictionalised agrarian society in Vietnam. By focusing on child farmers living in communes, she deftly navigates the intricate interplay between history and imagination, challenging viewers to reinterpret collective myths and envisage an alternative present.

Ana Maria Millan, a Berlin-based artist recognised for her inventive workshops that blend role-play and video games, presents Elevacion (Elevation). Drawing from the Colombian comic strip Marquetalia, Raices de la Resistencia by former FARC leader Jesus Santrich, her animated piece embodies the spirit of resistance, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to storytelling across various art forms.

Martha Atienza, an artist, environmentalist, and social advocate, explores the importance of Fisherfolk’s Day in her documentary Adlaw sa mga Mananagat (Fisherfolk’s Day). Through her work, Atienza underscores the critical role of art in championing social and environmental causes.

Connie Zheng’s film The Lonely Age transports viewers to a dystopian future facing an environmental crisis. Rumours of sentient seeds washing up on California’s shores provide the central narrative of her experimental work, using an array of improvised dialogues and movements to explore popular apocalyptic tropes and express a collective sense of hope and cynicism for the future.

Related events include a lecture, Black Box White Cube: Decoding Video Art and Artists’ Films by curator Sam I-shan on July 7, and a workshop, “Transformative Mythologies: A Workshop on Artist’s Moving Images” facilitated by Thao Nguyen Phan on July 29-30.