UW Today on upcoming Sopheap Pich exhibition

Nov. 1, 2011

Cambodian-born sculptor exhibits work at Henry Art Gallery

Sopheap Pich will discuss the development of his sculpture and how returning to Cambodia has influenced his work in both material and method at a lecture and reception to celebrate the opening of Compound. The event is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Henry Art Gallery. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online.

An exhibit of work by Cambodian-born artist Sopheap Pich will be at the Henry Art Gallery Nov. 10-April 4. Compound, his sculptural installation at the gallery, was originally constructed for the 2011 Singapore Biennial, although its modular construction will allow it to become an entirely new work in its reconfiguration at the UW.

Pich immigrated to the United States with his family in 1984 to escape the brutal repression of the Khmer Rouge regime. He began his university studies in pre-med, but eventually changed his focus to art, earning a BFA and then MFA in painting, the latter at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

After working for a few years as an artist, Pich returned to his native country, observing that he “…was just tired of doing meaningless things to stay alive in the U.S. The idea of being an artist in that environment made less and less sense.”

Upon his return to Cambodia in 2003, Pich transitioned to sculpture, making large-scale structures in rattan and bamboo that suggest Cambodia’s basket-weaving tradition. In the artist’s words, “These indigenous materials have concealed strength, not unlike Cambodia. One can see through my works and yet they are almost indestructible.”

Read more at UW Today

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