In 1975, when the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh, Mak Remissa was 5 years old. Like all the other inhabitants of the capital, he is evacuated from Phnom Penh, which will remain empty – except for a few employees in the ministries – until in 1979 the Vietnamese troops recovered the city.
The new masters, often very young people, dressed in black, push people to take very few things since they were supposed to leave “only for three days” (Left 3 days).
For the first time, the photographer who lost a large part of his family in the genocide, and who like so many other survivors had enormous difficulty in talking about this tragic past, recalls this moment, forty years later. Using cut-out paper, he reconstructs scenes that drowns in a mist of smoke partially erasing the decor. A chaste series, at the limit of black and white, in which he also reconnects with his first practices of photography in the mid-seventies, when he wanted to earn a living by being a photographer and was introduced to photojournalism, he is today one of its most brilliant representatives in Cambodia.
To reconstruct these tragic memories that the child that he was had partly forgotten, he had to appeal to his mother, admirable teacher who, after the disaster, openned an orphanage where she welcomed more than four hundred children.
Mak Remissa dedicates this series to his grandfather, his father, his three uncles and all the other victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide.
Mak Remissa was born on September 5, 1970 in Phnom Penh. After studying at the Royal University of Fine Arts where he specialized in photography, he became an independent photographer. He then collaborated with the French daily “Cambodge Soir “and, since 2006, is a correspondent for the EPA press agency. Alongside his work as a journalist, he develops personal works, small philosophical tales put in images, often devoted to themes related to nature and served by the requirement of his approach to color. He has exhibited in France, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia.
He is the best known of Cambodian photographers and has influenced and trained many young people who have become actors in the country’s photographic scene.
Excellent pedagogue, he gives many workshops, in Cambodia and abroad.
Fish and ants, 2005
“When the water goes up the fish eat the ants. When the water drops the ants eat the fish. The proverb is the basis of a colorful tale.
Water is life, 2009
One of the environmental causes to which the artist is very attached in a country that is experiencing violent effects of climate change.
The forest on fire, 2012.
The destruction of animals by burning, as well as deforestation are part of the cycle on the four elements.
You will be back in 3 days, 2015.
Using cut-out papers, the artist reconstitutes, forty years later, memories of the evacuation of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge when he was five years old.
From hunting to photography, 2017.
As a child, the photographer loved to hunt. Today he fights for the protection of endangered species and encourages to photograph rather than to hunt them.
Mak Remissa – Left Three Days
May 9 au June 1 2019
9, rue Visconti