Born in Cambodia in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge and having grown up in Phnom Penh, Vandy Rattana portrays episodes of historical violence through understated and tranquil images. He began his photography practice in 2005. His serial work employed a range of analog cameras and formats, straddling the line between strict photojournalism and artistic practice.
His recent works mark a shift in philosophy surrounding the relationship between historiography and image making. For Vandy Rattana, photographs are now fictional constructions, abstract and poetic surfaces, histories of their own.
Since the photographic work and documentary Bomb ponds (2009), in which his photos of bomb craters articulate the psychological wounds of Cambodians who survived American carpet bombing between 1964 and 1973, Vandy Rattana has been scanning the idyllic Cambodian countryside with his viewfinders and revealing its traumatic past.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS AND SCREENINGS
2020 – Walking Through, screening and talk, co-hosted by the Cultural Taiwan Foundation and Taipei Philharmonic Foundation for Culture and Education at Café Philo, Taipei, Taiwan.
2020 – Scent of Time, screening and talk, center for art and technology, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan.
2018 – Funeral (screening and conference), Institut français du Cambodge, Phnom Penh.
2018 – Bomb Ponds, Monologue, Funeral, Galerie Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France, dans le cadre du Festival Made In Asia.
2016 – Working Through, The Cube, Taipei, Taiwan (shown Walking Through, Bomb Ponds photos and documentary, Monologue).
2015 – Monologue, Sasa Bassac Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2015 – Monologue, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France.
2015 – Monologue, CAPC, Bordeaux, France.
2013 – Bomb Ponds, Asia Society Museum, New York City, America.
2012 – Surface, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2011 – The Bomb Ponds, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2011 – Bomb Ponds, Sàn Art gallery (cancelled due to government restrictions on exhibition licensing), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
2010 – The Bomb Ponds, Hessel Museum of Art, New York, America.
2009 – Walking Through, Sa Sa Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2007 – Chess, Hôtel de la Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
2007 – Looking in My Office, Popil Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2020 – Busan Biennale (shown Bomb Ponds), Korea
2020 – Stealing Public Space (shown Khmer Rouge Trial), The Substation, Singapore
2019 – Singapore Biennale: every step in the right direction (shown Monologue, Funeral, …far away, over there, the ocean), Singapore Museum of Arts.
2019 – screening of Monologue, Making Memory, MCAD, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (shown Monologue), Manila, The Philippines.
2019 – Making Memory, Jewish Museum (shown Monologue), Frankfurt, Germany.
2019 – The Breathing of Maps (shown Monologue), Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Japan.
2019 – Art Encounters Biennial (shown Monologue), Timisoara, Romania.
2019 – Biennale Jogja XV (shown Monologue and Funeral), Jogjakarta, Indonesia.
2019 – Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now (shown Bomb Ponds), Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (KMFA), Taiwan.
2019 – 40 ans après, la photographie au Cambodge aujourd’hui (shown Bomb Ponds and Surface), La Filature, Mulhouse, France.
2018 – UnAuthorised Medium (shown Bomb Ponds), Framer Framed, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2018 – Two Houses: Politics and Histories in the Contemporary Art Collections of John Chia and Yeap Lam Yang (shown Funeral), Lassale College of Arts, Singapore.
2018 – Ausstellung »Still Water. Politiken des Wassers« (shown Bomb Ponds), Hospitalhof, Stuttgart, Germany.
2017 – Le Paysage après coup (shown Monologue and Bomb Ponds), Galerie Faux Mouvement, Metz, France.
2017 – Sunshower, Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now (shown Bomb Ponds and Monologue), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
2017 – Lines, Borders, Boundaries, and the In-Betweens (shown First High Rise and Boeung Kak Eviction), Yamamoto Gendai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
2017 – Riverrun (shown Monologue / Bomb Ponds), Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan.
2016 – Anywhere But Here (shown Landscape of Time / Surface), Bétonsalon, Paris, France.
2016 – New Narratives Film Festival (shown Monologue / Bomb Ponds), Taipei, Taiwan.
2016 – From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art (shown Bomb Ponds), New York, USA.
2016 – Embedded South(s) (shown Monologue), online exhibition.
2016 – Public spirits (shown Bomb Ponds / Monologue), Center for Contemporary Art Ujzadowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland.
2015 – Today of Yesterday (shown Bomb Ponds / Monologue),Yamamoto Gendai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
2015 – Time of others (shown Monologue), Museum of contemporary art, Tokyo, Japan.
2015 – Documenting as Method: Photography in Southeast Asia (shown Walking Through), Chiang Mai Photo Festival, Thailand.
2015 – The Khmer Rouge and the consequences. Documentation as artistic memory work (shown Bomb Ponds and Monologue), Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany.
2014 – Looking at the Big Blue Sky, Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2014 – In the Aftermath of Trauma, Contemporary Video Installations (shown Bomb Ponds), Kemper Art Museum, America.
2014 – Medicine to Heal: Cambodian Photography since 2000 (shown Looking in), Xishuangbanna Foto Festival, Yunnan, China.
2014 – Lost in Landscape, Mart Museum, Italy.
2014 – Concept, Context, Contestation: Art and the collective in Southeast Asia, BACC, Bangkok, Thailand.
2013 – No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia (shown Bomb Ponds), Asia Society, Hong-Kong.
2013 – WE=ME (shown Bomb Ponds), Art Center Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
2013 – DOCUMENT (shown Bomb Ponds), Plymouth University Gallery, United Kingdom.
2013 – Unknown Forces, Gestures Beyond Surfaces (shown Bomb Ponds video), Tophane-I Amire Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey.
2013 – Out of Nowhere: Photography in Cambodia, Season of Cambodia, New York City, America.
2013 – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Us and Institution / Us as Institution (shown Bomb Ponds), Guangdong Times Museum, China.
2013 – Bring the world into the world (shown Bomb Ponds), InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre and Art Metropole, Toronto, Canada.
2013 – Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology (shown First high-rise), IFA, Berlin + Stuttgart, Germany.
2013 – Welcome to the Jungle, Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia from the Collection of Singapore Art Museum (shown Bomb Ponds), Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan.
2012 – Between Fantasy and Reality, Photography from Cambodia (shown First High-Rise), The East Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
2012 – Traces, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok.
2012 – Poetic Politic (shown Bomb Ponds), Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, America.
2012 – Bomb Ponds Noorderlicht International Photo Festival, Netherlands.
2012 – dOCUMENTA 13, “The Brain” (shown Bomb Ponds), Kassel, Germany.
2012 – Bomb Ponds, Eigen+Art Lab, group exhibition, Berlin, Germany.
2012 – The Best of Times, The Worst of Times, Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art (shown Bomb Ponds), Kiev Biennale, Ukraine.
2012 – Rupture and Revival: Cambodian Photography in the Last Decade, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore.
2012 – Documentaries (shown Bomb Ponds), Saint Paul St Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
2012 – Bomb Ponds, collective exhibition at Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.
2012 – Bomb Ponds, collective exhibition “Paradise Lost” at 2902 Gallery, Singapore.
2011 – Between Utopia and Dystopia, University Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexico.
2011 – Institution for the Future, Asia Triennial Manchester II, Chinese Art Center, Manchester, United Kingdom.
2011 – Signature Art Prize Finalist Exhibition, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.
2011 – Paradise Lost II, 2902 Gallery, Singapore.
2011 – Big Eyes, Sa Sa Art Gallery, Phnom Penh; Cambodia.
2009 – Fire of the year, The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6), Brisbane, Australia.
2009 – TADAIMA, Looking for Sweet Home, Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art at Kyushu University, Japan.
2009 – Magnetic Power, Group exhibition organized by Asean-Korean Center, Seoul, Korea.
2009 – Intro : group exhibition of Stiev Selepak (Art Rebels), SaSa Art gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2009 – Forever Until Now: Contemporary Art From Cambodia 10 Chancery gallery, Hong Kong.
2009 – Chobi Mela V International Photography festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
2008 – Strategies from within, Contemporary Arts Practice, Ke center for the Contemporary Arts, Shanghai, China.
2008 – Transformation, group travelling exhibition of Cambodian and US artists, Phnom Penh, Cambodia and California, USA.
2008 – The Contemporary Art of Korea, Japan and the U.S.A – Difference and Coexistence, ASTO Museum of Art, Wrightwood, California, America.
2008 – Gwanghwamoon International Art Festival, Korea and The First Gallery Avenue, Beijing, China.
2008 – Road : group travel art exhibition in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (Mekong Art and Culture Project).
2008 – Art of Survival, group art exhibition, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2007 – Art rebels, group photo exhibition, John Mcdermott Gallery, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
2006 – Self-portraits, group exhibition, Noorderlicht, the Netherlands.
2005 – Looking In, group exhibition, Popil Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
WORKSHOPS, RESIDENCIES, PUBLICATIONS
2017 – Le Paysage après coup, colloque, FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France.
2016 – Photography in Southeast Asia, A Survey, NUS Press Singapore, Zhuang Wubin.
2015 – Artist Residency (three months), AIT, Tokyo, Japan (May – July).
2015 – MONOLOGUE (publication of the text of the short-movie in English, French and Khmer, introduction by Erin Gleeson).
2014 – Photography Today, Phaidon.
2013 – In Conversation with Leeza Ahmady, Museum of Modern Art, NYC, America.
2013 – Season of Cambodia Artist residency (two months), Governor’s Island, New York (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council + In Residence).
2013 – Phnom Penh Das Verschwinden Verhindern, book of the exhibition Rescue Archaeology (Germany).
2011 – UNFIXED Photography and Postcolonial Perspective on Contemporary Art (book, 2012), The Netherlands.
2010 – Co-Founder, Sa Sa Art Project, The Building, Phnom Penh.
2009 – “Long March Education – Ho Chi Minh Trail Project” Residency, Beijing, China.
2008 – One-week photography workshop with Antoine D’agata, Magnum photographer, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2008 – “Silence” one-week photography workshop with Beat Presser, Swiss photographer, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2006 – “Another Asia”, book of Noorderlicht exhibition.
2006 – Photojournalism workshop sponsored by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and World Press Photo, Manilla, the Philippines.
Reflections on Trauma and Resistance in Vandy Rattana’s Monologue Trilogy, Andrea Fam (Singapore Art Museum Assistant Curator) in Terremoto (2020)
My Art Guides website (2019)
Cambodia Here and Now (2019)
Can time kill all the atrocities (2019)
Dossier de presse Château d’Eau (2018)
History, Loop and Restructuring, No Man’s Land (2016)
Taipei Times (2016)
Speech, the Still Image, and their Silent Returns in Vandy Rattana’s Monologue by PhD Pamela N. Corey (London SOAS) in Hypotheses (2015)
Blog Les lunettes rouges, Le Monde (2015)
Video portrait, Magazine du Jeu de Paume (2015)
Highlight: Fire of the Year (2014)
Ocula contemporary art website
Poetic Politic (2012), curated by curator Zoe Butt at KADIST
Punctum Asia (2012)
Guggenheim Museum website’s artist page
2013 – Nominee, The 2013-14 Sovereign Asian Art Prize.
2013 – Nominee, The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2014 Bellagio Center Creative Artist Fellows Program.
2011 – Signature Art Prize, Asia-Pacific’s top 15 finalists (Singapore Art Museum).
2010 – Top 10 Museum Shows for 2010, Art Asian Pacific Almanac (The Bomb Ponds, Hessel Museum, NY)
2009 – Nominee, Prix Pictet “Earth”
2009 – Society of Publishers in Asia, SOPA – Excellence in News Photography for the report on Beoung Kok Lake land eviction (for The Phnom Penh Post)
2009 – Finalist at The Sovereign Asian Art Prize (“Fire of the Year”), top 30.
2010 – Photographer for the magazine Causes Communes of the association La Cimade, France.
2009 – Staff photographer for Ka-Set, an independent online news website based in Cambodia.
2008 – Worked for English local newspaper Phnom Penh Post.
2008 – Two-week photo assignment for Australian Red Cross covering Water Sanitation and other programmes in Cambodia and Laos PDR.
OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST
Music, Design, Philosophy, Literature, Cinema.