Kim Hak's Alive opens at Bophana Center
7 August 2019
On Thursday 1 August 2019 photographer Kim Hak’s exhibition Alive opened at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This was a second presentation of the work, which was first shown at Objectspace in Auckland, New Zealand from 1 June to 20 July 2019.
In 2018, with support from Rei Foundation, Kim Hak spent time with 12 Cambodian families now in New Zealand, documenting personal objects that hold stories from their journey in surviving the Khmer Rouge and refugee camps and then resettlement far from their homeland. The exhibition at Objectspace was amplified through a series of public events, drawing many communities to learn and share their own stories.
Bringing the stories of the Cambodian diaspora back to Phnom Penh has provided a meaningful space for new dialogues, with perspectives from local Cambodians, and those from elsewhere.
Kim Hak says, “Through objects, I have been working with the memory of victims and survivors of Khmer Rouge both living inside Cambodia and the Cambodian diaspora. Showing the Auckland chapter of Alive in Bophana is very important to me. It shows that we are all connected, the broken pieces come together.”
“Alive has brought together older people and the younger generation, and has created space for a comfortable dialogue by reflecting on the objects used by those who lived through the Khmer Rouge era.”
Sopheap Chea, director of Bophana Center
Audiences in both Phnom Penh and Auckland have brought their own understanding and memories to the photographed objects, and are invited to both hear the stories of those Kim Hak has collaborated with, and share their own experiences.
“Alive has brought together older people and the younger generation,” said Bophana Center director Sopheap Chea, “and has created space for a comfortable dialogue by reflecting on the objects used by those who lived through the Khmer Rouge era.”
The opening event was attended by a wide range of local and international artists and creatives, friends of Bophana Center and Rei Foundation partners.
Alive by Kim Hak, runs at Bophana Center from 1-31 August 2019. A publication of the project is currently in production and will be available by the end of 2019.