Sopheap Pich


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Sopheap Pich is widely considered to be Cambodia’s most internationally prominent contemporary artist. Born in Battambang, Cambodia, in 1971, Pich moved with his family to the United States in 1984. After receiving his BFA (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1995) and MFA (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1999), he returned to Cambodia in 2002, where he began working with local materials – bamboo, rattan, burlap from rice bags, beeswax and earth pigments gathered from around Cambodia – to make sculptures inspired by bodily organs, vegetal forms, and abstract geometric structures. Pich’s childhood experiences during the genocidal conditions of late 1970s Cambodia had a lasting impact on his work, informing its themes of time, memory, and the body. His sculptures stand out for their subtlety and power, combining refinement of form with a visceral, emotive force.

Pich’s recent exhibition, Structures, at Tyler Rollins Fine Art (October 29 – December 19, 2015) introduced two new series shown in New York for the first time: Wall Structures, imposing geometric compositions of raw bamboo and rattan, with complex grid patterns; and Bare Reliefs, more ethereal works in which thinner strands of bamboo and rattan create a rhythm of light and shadow, solid and void, accentuated by fire-darkened areas. Also for the first time, Pich incorporated a new material, stone found in local quarries – roughly carved or smoothly polished in the studio – which complements the organic materials. The exhibition included new biomorphic sculptures, an important component of his work that had not been shown here in the gallery since his 2011 Morning Glory exhibition. He continues to be inspired by organic structures, whether of flora (vines, flowers, seeds) or fauna (in this case, deer antlers). With these, he explored the fluidity of line and the free expansion of volume, all delimited by the basic forms of typical natural structures – themes that are also at the core of his geometric works.

Pich’s work has been featured in numerous international museum exhibitions and biennials in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States. His works were recently on view in the group exhibitions: For the Love of Things: Still Life, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2016); Drawn from Nature, at the Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX (2015); The Art of Our Time: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collections, at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2015); and Medium at Large, at the Singapore Art Museum (2015). In 2013, Pich presented a highly acclaimed solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, entitled Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich. The museum’s first solo show given to a contemporary Southeast Asian artist, the exhibition “can be regarded as a cameo retrospective, since its 10 works accurately reflect the range of the artist’s motifs from 2005 to late 2012,” according to Art in America. It included several large bio-morphic rattan sculptures which were featured in the artist’s two previous solo exhibitions at Tyler Rollins Fine Art,The Pulse Within (2009) and Morning Glory (2011). Also featured were works from Pich’s geometric series, Wall Reliefs, which were debuted in a room sized installation at Documenta (13) in Kassel, Germany (2012), and subsequently featured in Reliefs, his third exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art (2013). While using the same locally sourced materials seen in his earlier, more free-flowing works, Pich’s grid-based Wall Reliefs reflect the artist’s increasing interest in abstraction and conceptualization. The works consist of bamboo grids covered with strips of burlap taken from used rice bags patched with old fabrics and colorful bits of plastic twine, with added layers of encaustic, often colored with mineral pigments and charcoal. Pich explains: “These grid works, reduced to their bare materials and shapes, represent for me a kind of distillation of emotion, of remembrance, of reflections on what has influenced me, or the places I have been.”

In addition to Documenta, Pich has participated in the Moscow Biennale (2013); the Dojima River Biennial (2013); the Singapore Biennale (2011); the Asian Art Biennial (2011); the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (2009); and the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2009). Additional museum solo exhibitions include: A Room, Indianapolis Museum of Art (2014); Collection+ Sopheap Pich, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, Australia (2013); Sopheap Pich: Compound, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington (2012). Additional museum group shows include: No Country: Contemporary Art For South and Southeast Asia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (2014); Invisible Cities, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2012–13); Collecting Art of Asia, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts (2012); Encounter: The Royal Academy in Asia, Asia Institute of Contemporary Art, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore (2012); Here/Not Here, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2011); Classic Contemporary: Contemporary Southeast Asian Art from the Singapore Art Museum Collection(2010).

Pich’s work is included in such major collections as: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; M+, Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong; Singapore Art Museum; Queensland Art Gallery; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle. Reviews and feature articles about Pich have appeared in such publications as Artforum, Art in America, ArtNews, Art Newspaper, Asian Art News, Flash Art, New York Times, Orientations, Wall Street Journal. In 2014, Art Asia Pacific called Pich “the Southeast Asian artist to watch at the moment.”

The Crow Collection Of Asian Art, Hidden Nature: Sopheap Pich

2017


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The Cambodia Daily Sopheap Pich

February, 2017


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The Phnom Penh Post, In the studio with Sopheap Pich

February, 2017


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Ackland Art Museum Press Release, Ackland Art Museum Reimagines – and Reinstalls – Galleries of Asian Art

December, 2016


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Bloomberg Brilliant Ideas: Sopheap Pich

December, 2016


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Art Asia Pacific, Animate Bodies of Work

March, 2016


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The New Yorker, Sopheap Pich

December, 2015


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Artinfo, Sopheap Pich’s “Structures” at Tyler Rollins Fine Art

November, 2015


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Art Basel Year 46

2015


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Art Loft, Why Southeast Asian Art Now?

December, 2014


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Sopheap Pich on Rattan, Sculpture, and Abstraction

April, 2014


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Indianapolis Museum of Art, A Contemporary Spring at the IMA

2014


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Sopheap Pich on Morning Glory as Food and Artwork

March, 2014


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Bird, Sopheap Pich

2014


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Art Asia Pacific, No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia

2014


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Blouin Art Info, Rattan to Revolutionary: “Collection+ Sopheap Pich” at SCAF Sydney

October, 2013


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ABC Radio Australia, Cambodian sculptor draws on rural influences in Australian exhibition

October, 2013


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Dojima River Biennale 2013

July, 2013


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The Boston Globe, Showcasing a continent’s art at Smith College

May, 2013


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The New York Times, Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich

May, 2013


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Art in America, Woven into History

May, 2013


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Time Out New York, Ten sculpture exhibitions you should see

May, 2013


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Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cambodian Rattan: The sculptures of Sopheap Pich

May, 2013


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Orientations, Cambodian Rattan: Memory and Place in the Art of Sopheap Pich

May, 2013


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The Economist, Out of adversity

April, 2013


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The Wall Street Journal, Cambodian Art Rises From the Ashes

April, 2013


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The New York Times, Dancing Well Is the Best Revenge

April, 2013


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Gallery Guide, Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich

April, 2013


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Asian Art Newspaper, Sopheap Pich

April, 2013


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The New Yorker, Metropolitan Museum

March, 2013


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Blouin Art Info, Asia-NYC

March, 2013


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Smith College Museum of Art – New Acquisitions

February, 2013


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Sculpture Now, Handmade

2013


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Documenta (13) The Guidebook

June, 2012


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Art Asia Pacific, Where I Work

May, 2012


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Invisible Cities exhibition at Mass MOCA

April, 2012


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Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, Of Trans(national) Subjects and Translation: The Art and Body Language of Sopheap Pich

2012


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The Seattle Times, Cambodian artist evokes tumult of his homeland

November, 2011


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The Stranger, A Weightless Series of Cages

November, 2011


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Compound at the Henry Art Gallery

November, 2011


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Meditation: Asian Art Biennial 2011 catalogue

November, 2011


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The Art Newspaper, The rebuilding of Cambodian art

October, 2011


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The Examiner, San Francisco, Modern ‘Buddha Presence’ at Asian Art Museum

September, 2011


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Sculpture, Sopheap Pich: Return to Cambodia

September, 2011


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Thailand Tatler, Woven Narrative

July, 2011


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Art Journal, Art without History? Southeast Asian Artists and Their Communities in the Face of Geography

July, 2011


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The Wall Street Journal – Icons, A River View Reshapes a Sculptor’s Work

April, 2011


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The Wall Street Journal – Scene Asia, A Dream Weaver Goes Global

April, 2011


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Artforum, Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House

April, 2011


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The New York Times, Definitions of Home at the Singapore Biennale

March, 2011


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The Wall Street Journal – Scene Asia, Open House at the Singapore Biennale

March, 2011


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Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House

March, 2011


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Treasures (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco magazine), Here/Not Here

January, 2011


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International Herald Tribune, Cambodian Art Emerges From Horrors of a Murderous Past

December, 2010


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Artforum, Best of 2010

December, 2010


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bob, Sopheap Pich

April, 2010


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Art News, Review of “The Pulse Within” at Tyler Rollins Fine Art

February, 2010


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Artforum, Sopheap Pich

February, 2010


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The Luxury channel, 8 Asian artists to watch

February, 2010


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Classic Contemporary: Contemporary Southeast Asian Art from the Singapore Art Museum Collection

January, 2010


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Art Asia Pacific, The Pulse Within

January, 2010


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Flash Art, Sopheap Pich

January, 2010


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Classic Contemporary Catalogue

January, 2010


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The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

December, 2009


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Truly Truthful exhibition (Miami)

December, 2009


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examiner.com, Sopheap Pich’s “The Pulse Within”

December, 2009


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Artforum.com, Sopheap Pich at Tyler Rollins Fine Art

December, 2009


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Dossier Journal, The Pulse Within – Sopheap Pich at Tyler Rollins

November, 2009


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The 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Sopheap Pich

September, 2009


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Asia Art Archive, Interview with Sopheap Pich

April, 2009


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International Herald Tribune, A coming of age for Cambodian artists

March, 2009


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Sphere Asia, The New Weave

March, 2009


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C-Arts, Cambodian Art: Opening the Box

March, 2009


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Art Asia Pacific, Tidal, Sopheap Pich

March, 2008


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Strategies from Within

January, 2008


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Flash Art, Reviews: Sopheap Pich at the H Gallery in Bangkok

November, 2007


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World Sculpture News, Speaking To The Past And The Present

September, 2007


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Frieze, Sopheap Pich

September, 2007


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Real Time, New art, new Cambodia

April, 2006


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Art Asia Pacific, Sopheap Pich: Rotin/Pdow

March, 2005


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