4 October - 14 December 2013
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation is delighted to feature the work of acclaimed Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich in the second of our Collection+ series of exhibitions. Collection+ is conceived of as a hybrid project with a specific cross-pollinating purpose. Some 800 works in The Gene & Brian Sherman Collection are scrutinised and assessed by invited curators working in partnership with SCAF’s curatorial team. Each curator selects a single artist from the collection and researches collections nationally and internationally in order to identify significant related works by the same artist.
Sopheap Pich first came to the attention of Dr Gene Sherman at the 2006 Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art. Captivated by the materiality and form of his sculptural abstract works, two pieces were acquired for the Sherman Collection. An active curatorium consisting of Erin Gleeson, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of SA SA Bassac, Phnom Penh, Dolla Merrillees, SCAF’s Associate Director and Dr Gene Sherman working with the artist and the Sherman Collection Manager, Aaron de Souza, researched and sourced works and collectors from far afield. Lenders to the exhibition include public galleries and private collections in Brisbane, Sydney, London and Cambodia.
Collection+: Sopheap Pich will be accompanied by our comprehensive Culture+Ideas series of talks, film screenings and children’s workshops. A full-colour catalogue with a preface by Gene Sherman, essay by Erin Gleeson and artist interview by Dolla Merrillees will be published by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation.
Sopheap Pich is widely considered to be Cambodia’s most internationally prominent contemporary artist. Working primarily with thin strips of rattan and bamboo, he creates sculptural forms that address issues of time, memory, and the body, often relating to Cambodia’s history, particularly with regard to his recollections of life during the Khmer Rouge period (1975-79), and its culture, both its ancient traditions and contemporary struggles. Pich’s work stands out for its subtlety and power, combining refinement of form with a visceral, emotive force. After receiving his BFA and MFA in the United States, Pich returned to Cambodia in 2002, where he began working with local materials – bamboo, rattan, burlap from rice bags, beeswax and earth pigments gathered from around Cambodia – to make sculptural forms that reference social and political conditions in Cambodia. His childhood experiences during the genocidal conditions of late 1970s Cambodia had a lasting impact on his work, informing its themes of survival family, and basic human togetherness. Pich’s work has been featured in numerous international museum exhibitions and biennials in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Pich’s work was recently featured in a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from February 23 to July 7, 2013. Entitled Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich, it featured ten sculptures from recent years, ranging from large-scale, organic forms to the grid-like Wall Reliefs shown in his 2012 installation at Documenta (13) in Kassel, Germany. The exhibition included loans from private collections as well as works from the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Pich’s recent solo exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, entitled Reliefs (April 18 – June 14, 2013), featured new works from the Wall Reliefs series.