Biennale of Sydney

Sa Sa Art Projects

Khvay Samnang, Human Nature, 2010–11, digital C-print, 80 x 120 cm. Courtesy the artist

Khvay Samnang, Human Nature, 2010–11, digital C-print, 80 x 120 cm. Courtesy the artist

Sa Sa Art Projects. Installation view (2018) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for the 21st Biennale of Sydney

Sa Sa Art Projects

Not-for-profit artist-run space founded in 2010 by the Stiev Selapak collective
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Participating artists:
Khvay Samnang
Lim Sokchanlina
Vuth Lyno
Pen Sereypagna

Additional contributions from collaborators, artists, students and residents of the White Building


Sa Sa Art Projects was established in 2010 by Cambodian art collective Stiev Selapak in response to the absence of a not-for-profit, artist-run space embracing diverse and experimental art practices. The current active co-founders include Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina and Vuth Lyno, who are supported by former students and local residents. Sa Sa Art Projects occupied a space in the White Building (originally the Municipal Apartments), a post-independence, social housing complex built in 1963, part of the visionary public and cultural district Bassac River Front, a larger project overseen by Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann. The White Building was re-occupied by artists after the end of the Khmer Rouge regime, and the neighbourhood grew into a vibrant community of more than 500 households, before the building was demolished in 2017.

Sa Sa Art Projects maintains The White Building Art Archive and online database, which collects visual and audio materials produced by art and media students and former residents, as well as selected works created in collaboration with local and international visiting artists. Selected videos created for the Art Archive are displayed alongside photographs from Khvay Samnang’s series ‘Human Nature’ in which masked figures, all residents of the White Building, are pictured inhabiting intimate domestic spaces.

Vuth Lyno’s Light Voice recreates the White Building’s chaotic atmosphere, comprising a LED light and speaker broadcasting Bayon Radio, 95.0 FM, a local radio station that can be frequently heard in the building. The installation is  activated by visitors’ movement throughout the space. Playing Archive includes contributions from collaborators, artists, students and residents of the White Building, who have selected materials from the Archive in combination with other online content to compose individual narratives.

Pen Sereypagna’s architectural project, Genealogy of Bassac focuses on the changing physical form of the White Building over time through a mapping process that registers the historical shifts affecting the Bassac Riverfront area. The human impacts of these transitional moments are explored in interviews with three former residents of the Building.



Presentation at the 21st Biennale of Sydney was made possible with assistance from Reliable Source Industrial (Cambodia) Co., Ltd and the Australia-ASEAN Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade