Chhin Taing Chhea (b. 1984; Takeo Province) graduated in 2006 with a degree in modern painting from the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA). From September 2006 to June 2007, he participated in Stéphane Janin’s photo workshop at the now-defunct Le Popil Gallery in Phnom Penh.
In Old Building (2007), using a self-constructed pinhole camera, Chhin documented the buildings that were being destroyed around Phnom Penh in the name of modernization. The length of exposure for each image, which is between 30 to 40 seconds, allows the artist to optically “erase” the human presence. It is an act of retaliation, putting the responsibility of destruction on the shoulders of mankind. Chhin is clearly aware of the massive changes that have taken place in Cambodia over the last few years.
[Untitled (top); Untitled (bottom) / From “Old Building” / Courtesy of Chhin Taing Chhea]