How Invisible Voices Are Shaping Cambodia’s Art Scene

Puthealin Sok

Treeline Urban Resort just took a step closer to flipping the script on Cambodian contemporary art through their latest exhibition, Invisible Voices.

Born from the Treeline Artist Grants program, this exhibition has gone beyond providing space for local artists to be heard. The journey has led six emerging local artists to hone their voices in today’s art world. Cambodia’s contemporary art is also developing its personality. Emerging opportunities for young artists to develop their skills and define what modern Cambodia means to them is helping our country’s contemporary identity take shape.

“I’m honored and excited to join this program. It is a part of my self-exploration and development in art and the architecture field,” said Mr. Vitou So, one of the six selected artists.

Artist Vitou So’s walk-through installations and drawings portray the connections between time, space and nature in the theme of Angkor Wat, inviting viewers to contemplate their bodies and environment in states of change, transformation, harmony, decay and destruction.

The precarious act of identity and culture shift is also the exploration point of Ms. Tyl Kan, one of the six chosen artists. Her brush strokes draw out the sense of identity loss, which she hopes will remind her generation to start making positive movements by showing where they’re standing right now.

Artist Tyl Kan and her art at the Invisible Voices. With brushes and canvas, Tyl narrates the sense of loss of personal and cultural identity as human generations evolve.

Recognizing the deep value that a thriving art scene gives people and society, the Treeline Artist Grants program, supported by ISI GROUP’s KMH Foundation, took action to promote local artists’ growth. Through dialogue with mentors about their works and techniques, each artist created an original work of art that gives voice to the invisible, shedding light on nature, change, humanity and society.

With the resources and space to find their voices, the young artists could meaningfully connect with the larger public and Cambodia’s art communities.

Artist Ero Prum’s work showcases the intricacy of coral reefs as nature’s architectural wonder and are a call for awareness of the endangered species.

The Invisible Voices exhibition and the Treeline Artist Grants program are important steps towards the art and design hotel’s long-term vision of establishing a thriving art foundation in Siem Reap. Treeline also envisions launching an artist-in-residence program that allows artists from across ASEAN to live and work outside of their usual environments and explore new locations, cultures and art forms.

With innovation as one of our guiding core values, ISI GROUP will continue to walk alongside Treeline to champion art programs and help shape contemporary art and design in Cambodia.

Artist Dalin Prak’s sculptures and installations mimic architectural structures at the intersection of Cambodia’s underdeveloped and developing eras, showing the impact of urban development.
Artist Hul KanhaI's work is inspired by the Khmer proverb “Women have 100 hands.” Kanha’s photographs capture the voices and stories of local women who are traditionally expected to engage in endless multitasking.
Artist Kong Siden’ exploration of various forms of sacrifice. Siden creates a symbol made of metal cuts covered in red as a stark reminder of those who have suffered and the sacrifices they made when they were alive.

Developed by Urbanland, Treeline Urban Resort is Siem Reap’s first premium art & design hotel. Creating inspirational spaces with absolute attention to quality, durability and craftsmanship, Urbanland is a member of ISI GROUP under our Property Development division.