Dream (2006-07) / Heng Ravuth


Heng Ravuth (b. 1985; Phnom Penh, Cambodia) shoots primarily with a Canon digital compact camera that he bought in 2006. To support himself, he works as a part-time drawing teacher for kids. In his work, Heng usually makes many pictures of his chosen “model” within a generic space – exploring the body with his camera, looking for answers to obscure mysteries.

In Dream (2006 – 07), his body is the subject of this archaeological exercise. However, the choice of using his body was just a matter of convenience. As such, he is not only talking about his dreams. Instead, he wants his audience to find their dreams through his striking self-portraits. Credit to the photographer, he has not closed off the possibility of proposing multiple readings into the work by not making his images – at least from an aesthetic level – overly specific.

Nevertheless, to see the work as a commentary on the young people of Cambodia, armed with very little education and tempted by all kinds of vices, seems to stretch that possibility too much.

[Untitled / From “Dream” / Courtesy of Heng Ravuth]