The boundaries between performance and other media—most obviously (but not exclusively) photography and video—are fluid, and accorded little importance by artists working with performance in Cambodia today. This paper offers a précis of existing scholarship on Cambodian performance art, including a summarized timeline. Yet rather than offering a broad survey, it focuses on the work of a small number of artists living and working in Phnom Penh, including Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina and Amy Lee Sanford. Like all other Cambodian artists currently working in performance, these artists also work in more than one other medium. In discussing several performances made since 2008, it notes some important shared characteristics. These include the centrality of documentation, the mutual dependence between live and mediatized performance, and the complex and often ambivalent attitudes toward live audiences articulated by artists and in their performance practice.


'Contemporary Art in Cambodia: A Historical Inquiry' was a one-day academic symposium with renowned scholars, curators, and artists. Some have argued that Cambodia has emerged from a post-conflict society into an era of social, economic, and political transformation. This symposium focused on a dimension of its cultural transformation as it has been manifested in a burgeoning contemporary arts scene within the last decade. Through inquiries into broader artistic, cultural, and aesthetic practices, various scholars and arts practitioners spoke to historical trajectories of contemporary art practice in Cambodia and its positioning in narratives of art history. By building a critical dialogue that interrogates the way the field is being shaped, the symposium aims to strengthen the foundation for more thorough investigations into Cambodia’s recent art historical developments.

Access level




Spoken language


Content type

event photograph/recording

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Panel II: Performance Art in Cambodia: Some Recent Observations

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