This book completes a ten years work by Philong Sovan, a young and gifted Cambodian photographer who has been documenting his country’s nightlife. This work started in 2010 in Siem Reap, the neighboring city of Angkor temples, the heart of which beats with tourism during the daytime. Philong then wondered what the city looks like when tourists are asleep and when it is kept in obscurity by the lack of street lighting.
He began drifting tirelessly from one side of the city to the other on his small motorbike, in the headlight of which an unknown world emerged. His rides soon extended to Phnom Penh. With his intensely colored and meticulously framed photographs, playing with the faint light of human activity only enhanced by the one of his vehicles, he provides a picture of Cambodian urban life that is at once dense and floating, tinged with his astonishment for the people with whom he briefly crosses paths.
With an essay by Christian Caujolle, who discovered Philong’s work and contributed to Cambodian photography’s international acknowledgment.
About the Author
Born in 1986 in Cambodia, Philong Sovan was introduced to photography with his compatriot Mak Remissa. Photographer for the newspaper The Phnom Penh Post until 2011, he obtained a scholarship in Paris, at the École Louis-Lumière in 2012-2013.
Along with commissioned works, he also devotes himself to his personal projects. Philong Sovan’s photographs have been exhibited around the world: Photo Phnom Penh (2009, 2010, and 2013), Biennial Photoquai of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris (2011), Hôtel de la Paix in Siem Reap (2011), Institute of Singapore Contemporary Arts (2012), World Event Young Artist Festival in Nottingham (2012) as part of the “Ma Samaritaine 2013” project, of which he was the winner, Getxophoto festival in Spain (2015), Friche la Belle de Mai in Marseille in the framework of the Rencontres d’Arles (2019) as well as in various festivals in France, Italy, and Sweden. Represented by the Lee (Paris) and Batia Sarem (Siem Reap) galleries, he is regularly published in the Cambodian and international press.