Asia

Vandy Rattana
Prey Veng (from the Bomb Ponds series)

The artist shot the Bomb Ponds series, which includes Prey Veng and eight other photographs, to record the craters created by tons of bombs dropped by the US forces during the Vietnam War, and still visible in the day-to-day landscape of Cambodia decades later. For this series, the artist traveled all over the country, engaging with villagers to locate and talk about the craters. In a country where photography plays a critical documentary role, for examples to document the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge dreadful actions, the series positions the environment as a longstanding witness of traumatic pasts that left permanent scars.

Vandy Rattana is a self-taught photographer working with photograph and film. Through documentary approach mixing micro and personal narratives, his work has focused on the challenging conditions of his home country and the common representations of Cambodia, tainted with French ethnographic gaze, wars, genocide, and tourists’ banalities. Concerned with the lack of documentation personal and unique to his own history and culture, Rattana started photographing as a form of chronicling and building an archive for future generations.