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Photo Phnom Penh Festival 2023 by Christian Caujolle


15 years! It has been 15 years since Photo Phnom Penh was born on the initiative of Alain Arnaudet, then director of the French Cultural Center. A festival which had the dual ambition of establishing exchanges between European and Asian artists and fostering the emergence of a new generation of photographers, in a small country still reeling from the murderous madness of the Khmer Rouge regime.

In 2008, it was difficult to find four Cambodian photographers to exhibit. Today, dozens of them have had their work exhibited during the festival, and dozens more could. These Cambodian photographers are also regularly shown abroad, in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific area. In 2008, 90% of visitors were expatriates, today it is the opposite and the many volunteers whom I would like to thank once again, without them the festival would not exist – prove that photography has become a real center of interest, among young people and others. The exchanges between cultures have taken on a real educational dimension in a country where training in photography is still not seriously considered.

Today, organized by Photo Phnom Penh Association, an independent Cambodian NGO, the festival benefits from its main partners, the Institut français du Cambodge and the delegation of the European Union in Cambodia, while expanding its network of local and international contributors. We are happy and proud of the support provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which will permit the future creation of the House of Photography. Just as we are delighted with the return, among our partners, of Cambodia Airports by Vinci which will allow us to welcome visitors upon their arrival in the capital with photographs from the program. It remains on the same editorial line by favoring the exchange and showing the new emerging Cambodian artists.

After the Swiss Confederation last year, we are happy to welcome our new guest Taiwan with five of its contemporary photographers, alternating our partnership with guest countries between Europe and Asia. With their diversity, inscribed in the history of photography as well as in its recent developments, the program drawn up by Taiwan will emphasize the vitality of the photographic image on the island.

At Institut français, ten years of work by Kim Hak, who traveled in all parts through his beloved Cambodia, reminds us that the country is more than just the temples of Angkor Wat and the Khmer Rouge Killing Field. This work on landscape, which underlines the richness and diversity of the territory, will dialogue with the documentary approach and the subtle colors images of Olivia Gay taken in the East of France. Denis Dailleux, who has the honor of being shown on the great wall of the French Embassy, invites us on a journey through his 30 years of memories in Egypt in warm and vibrant tones. He will also present a new work just as rich, made in India where he immersed himself in the largest flower market in Kolkata. The young Cambodian Hul Kanha will present her new series of images, between photography and painting at La Plantation Resort & Spa. The Bophana Center will welcome the photographs of Alan Crumlish taken in 1989, ten years after the fall of the Khmer rouge regime.

We are delighted to come back to this place of rich archives on the history of the country, which has hosted the festival since its beginning. The young photographer Chhen Kimhong will present two series at Sra’Art gallery as well as Factory Phnom Penh, alongside other Studio Images photographers.

Not to be missed, our famous “traveling exhibition” which will travel around the city for two months, thanks to a long collaboration with a whole community of tuk-tuks who, in the back of their “trailers”, carry works thus made accessible to everyone and which will take you on an extraordinary artistic and urban escapade.

15 years after its creation, Photo Phnom Penh is very much alive and just waiting to develop, in a troubled and unstable period.

Christian Caujolle
Founder, Art Director of PPP.


Fourteenth edition
From December 7th 2023 to February 7th, 2024


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