Home Authors Posts by Michelle Vachon

Michelle Vachon

Feature writer

Cambodian Arts Legend Kong Nay Receives Asian Art Prize

Kong Nay, a master of Cambodia’s centuries-old art form of chapei dang veng, has been named this year’s recipient of Japan’s Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize.

Film Competition to Help Young Generation Grapple With History

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal has been present in the lives of Cambodians for more than a decade. But the views of young people about the process—which has cost nearly $300 million since it started in 2006—are not often heard.

Quite a Stretch: Three Provinces Will Hold Global Yoga Day Events

Cambodia will celebrate the International Day of Yoga this month with a series of events held in three provinces.

How Cambodians Shape Their History Through the Present

Sunday’s commune elections have already become part of the nation’s history. But beyond what observers and journalists will say or write about it, and the analyses historians and researchers will make in the years to come, the story of what happened and its effect on the country will soon be part of Cambodia’s “social memory.”

Communes Through Time

Commune councils have always been intended to govern local affairs—at least in principle. But from their very inception more than a century ago, those running the country have used them more for political purposes than to meet the needs and welfare of residents.

Portraying Cambodia, Art Spans Worlds of Politics and Nature

This is one of the inspirations behind “Deep in the Wood,” an exhibition of artworks conceived by Mr. Seyha and his fellow artist Bor Hak that opens today in Phnom Penh.

Independent Election Monitor Will Dispatch 15,000 Observers

Come voting day on June 4, at least 15,000 independent observers recruited by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections (Comfrel) will be on duty at polling stations to ensure that voters feel free to cast their votes as they wish.

NGO Cheers Opening of Animation Studio in Phnom Penh

Visitors to the Institut Francais tonight will be met by life-size cardboard characters inspired by the 2D animations and illustrations of Phare Creative Studio, a new social enterprise that helps fund NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang City.

Exhibition Features a Lifelong Exploration of Artistic Styles

Karen Hartmann’s passion for art goes back to a memorable day in February 1963 when her father hauled her onto his shoulders so she could see, over the heads of thousands, a very special painting exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in her hometown, New York City.

Keat Chhon: A Man for All Regimes

A rare politician, Keat Chhon retained favor with several regimes over a career spanning more than 50 years, through some of Cambodia’s most stormy times

Southeast Asia Photography Pioneers Recalled in New Book

In the introduction to his book “Photography in Southeast Asia, A Survey,” artist and researcher Zhuang Wubin cautions against valuing news photographers less than those who focus on art installations or themed exhibitions.

Major Exhibition Takes Contemporary Cambodian Art to US

The theme of the exhibition is as intriguing as Cambodia itself: a land in which events of the past 50 years continue to weigh on people, even those far too young to have witnessed them.

Photographer Captures Intimacy of Daily Life in Cambodia

When French-Canadian photographer Serey Siv embarked on a project two years ago to photograph ordinary life across small-town Cambodia, his goal was far from simple.

‘I Am the Five’ Photograph Exhibition Honors Jailed Activists

Each photograph makes a statement, showing personal solidarity with the Adhoc 5. There are 365 in all: one photo for each day the activists have spent in jail.

Outdoor Painting Presents Challenges for Fine Arts Students

A blue-black cityscape of skyscrapers towering over trees; traditional wooden fishing boats bobbing on the water. The latest work from artists and students from the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) manages to perfectly capture the beauty of the Phnom Penh landscape.

Healing a Nation

A new book explores the difficult task of rebuilding Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge forces fled Phnom Penh in 1979

Artists Portray the Evolving Role of Rice in Modern-Day Asia

A destitute mother and child sitting amid dark stones, a meager plate of rice in front of them; a happy worker smiling in a field of golden rice with a bright blue sky above. Two very different images of rice, but both relevant in today’s world.

A Window Into the Inequality of Contemporary Cambodia

A country in which inequity in nearly every aspect of life leaves little hope for those who are not a part of, or do not have access to, the ruling CPP network and its system of privilege; where the Bar Association only admits 35 to 70 lawyers a year although hundreds graduate annually; where tens of thousands of workers are stranded in Phnom Penh, unable to secure the most menial job, and have no prospects if they were to return to their provinces.

Cambodian Artist Invited to Europe’s Prestigious ‘Documenta’ Event

Documenta, one of Europe’s most prestigious arts events, announced on Thursday that Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang will be among 150 contemporary artists taking part in the show opening in Athens on Saturday and moving to Kassel, Germany, on June 10.

Roll Up, Roll Up as the Circus Takes Center Stage in Phnom Penh

Ushering in the Khmer New Year with a splash of color, Institut Francais will turn over its grounds to circus artists on Saturday afternoon.