Sopheap Pich: Walking the Woods
Exhibition Dates│ 11.05.2022–01.07.2023
Venue │ Tina Keng Gallery (B1, No. 15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan 114)
In the woods, in the city, in the mind, one is free to wander and amble as they please.
Tina Keng Gallery is pleased to present Sopheap Pich: Walking the Woods, the artist’s very first solo exhibition in Taiwan, comprising a new body of work that encapsulates an intimate dialogue between the artist and nature.
The year 2020 saw the outbreak of the pandemic, people’s movement and interaction were limited, forcing a seismic change in the way we live. The artist was no exception: walking the woods became his newfound hobby. Sauntering up the foothills in southwest Cambodia, the artist finds a unique space for contemplation and creative freedom that helps him ward off the fear of the volatile status quo. As he traverses the forest and bonds with nature, he becomes profoundly inspired by the cultural milieu. Nurtured in the Khmer culture surrounded by the sultry tropical rain forest, the artist adopts quotidian materials from bamboo, rattan, burlap, mineral pigments to metals, in conjuring abstract geometric shapes that evoke the essence of nature, history, and creation. Seeking balance between sense and sensibility in his amble through the woods, perhaps the artist reveals his interiority in the plumbing of the unknown.
On view for the first time is the artist’s latest body of work made during the last three years. Conceived through observation, contemplation, orchestration, layering, and hammering, his sculptural works made from aluminum sheets instantiate the artist’s reflection on the vicissitudes of life in his solitary meditation. The two-dimensional wall reliefs embody his attempt to capture transitory moments. Rendered in a vibrant palette, these reliefs elicit feelings and memories long subdued, allowing us to reimagine life and nature. His works on paper — the result of repeatedly pressing a single bamboo stick onto watercolor paper — are succinct manifestations of the artist’s genuine emotions: the lines, despite a perceived resemblance to one another, coalesce into a manifold of visions ever-changing, ever-shifting.
Tina Keng Gallery and Sopheap Pich invite the viewer to Walking the Woods, and witness the ancient charm of rattan and bamboo, as well as the substantial yet otherworldly feel of metal materials. The artist’s state of mind confined during the pandemic manifests itself in his minimalist body of work rendered in earth tones and exuberant hues, allowing the viewer and their conscious to traverse terra incognita.
About the artist
Born in 1971 in Battambang, Cambodia
Lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Pich has a BFA in painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1995), and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999). He returned to Cambodia in 2002. In 2003, he established the artist group Saklapel. His works are housed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Centre Pompidou, Mori Art Museum, M+, and National Gallery Singapore. He has exhibited extensively, including the Setouchi Triennale (2022), 57th Venice Biennale (2017), Documenta 13, (2012), Singapore Biennale (2011), 6th Asia Pacific Triennale (2009), among others.