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Phnom Penh Photo 2012 –Kan Penhsong


The etymology of the verb to photograph is to “Write with light.” That’s exactly what this young photographer, Kan Penhsong, does. He writes or, rather, composes, using signs that we find unreadable. They could either be some mysterious piece of writing or a painting, allowing the hand and the eye to participate in the creation of the image. So writing with light is not overstating it. The gesture is as significant as the look in this practice that remains both free and random but which tries to become more disciplined in the rectangle, to both surprise and captivate us. Sometimes purely abstract, other times yielding distinct forms—even a face—that we eventually recognize behind the play of light and color, the amusing pattern of his flickering computer mouse that gradually leads us into a dream. But the heart of the matter is color, the very matter of color, that makes—in every sense of the word— This is the real nature of his endeavor that combines art and fantasy.

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