It is with great pleasure that Tyler Rollins Fine Art presents Sopheap Pich’s first New York solo exhibition. Pich has been very active on the international stage in recent years, and he is now considered to be Cambodia’s most prominent contemporary artist. But although his works are now exhibited around the world, he remains firmly rooted in Cambodia. Its vibrant culture and often tragic history continue to inspire his work. His exhibition for our gallery is a particularly personal one, as it is inspired by his childhood recollections of life during the Khmer Rouge period (1975-79). The physical and psychological hardships of this traumatic period were seared into the artist’s memory. With The Pulse Within, Pich has looked deep into himself – and also into the psyche of Cambodia – to investigate the troubling currents swirling beneath the surface of daily life.
Issues of time, memory, and the body are integral to Pich’s work. For this exhibition, he has created a dynamic group of sculptural forms derived from the internal organs of the human body, such as the heart, lungs, and intestines. These function as visceral reminders of the past and of the intimate, physical connections between human beings.
In a time when Cambodia and its people are focused on the realities of daily life and the challenges of economic development, Pich carves out a space of reflection upon the deeper issues that underlie Cambodian society. He returns to the fundamental physical basics of the human body, which he relates to the social body of the nation. Its internal scars and painfully raw wounds are exposed to view, and yet through this process some hope of healing is suggested.
This year has been an exciting one for Pich. In addition to completing a major outdoor sculptural installation at the King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia, he is being featured in two of Asia’s most prestigious art events: the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in Fukuoka, Japan; and the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia. We are very proud to introduce him to New York.