Living Arts City Colloquium: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York, Day 2

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

living arts city

As part of Season of Cambodia, a multi-disciplinary arts festival, taking place this spring in New York City, the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day colloquium exploring the interconnectedness of creativity, urban ecology and community. The event provides a window into an ongoing exchange between designers, curators, architects, planners, and social researchers from Phnom Penh and New York.

Sunday, April 7:
Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York: A Colloquium in Three Acts

Scholars, researchers, students, arts organizers, artists, policymakers, urbanists and designers from both New York and Cambodia will participate in a series of workshops and dialogues focused on how creativity fuels cities and how development and commodification dampens art production. This will include conversations on the role of public art, festivals, cultural district formation, and the distribution of arts and of artists in cities and towns; and will address such issues such as design, media, ecology, and youth development.

Welcome: David Lewis, Interim dean, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons The New School for Design; and Brian McGrath, research chair in Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design

10:00 a.m. - Workshop: Geo-body of the Living Arts City
This three-act colloquium begins with Cambodian Visual Artists and Living Arts Fellows presenting themselves, their work and their ideas about art practice and organizations to colleagues in New York.

  •  Cambodian Living Arts Fellows:
    Song Seng, Cambodian Living Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Khun Chanreaksmey, Phare Ponleu Selepak, Battambang, Cambodia; Chea Sopheap, Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Hannah Stevens, Fellows Program Manager
  • Cambodian Visual Artists:
    Khvyay Samnang, Leang Seckon, Lim Sokchanlina, Pete Pin, Amy Lee Sanford, Svay Sareth, Than Sok, Tith Kanitha, Vandy Rattana, Vuth Lyno, Anida Yeou Ali.
  • Asian Cultural Council Fellows:
    Kong Vollak, Sereypagna Pen
  • Cambodian Community in New York:
    Pete Pin, Brooklyn-based photographer; Chhaya Chhoum, executive director, Mekong NYC Community Organization, and co-chair, Season of Cambodia Community Council; Sarah Eisinger, co-chair, Season of Cambodia Community Council

1:00 p.m. - The Production of Space in the Living Arts City

  • Screening: Rescue Archeology: Documents Of Performance Art From Phnom Penh
    This film is a selection of videos of performance art by seven Cambodian contemporary artists, including: Khvay Samnang, Leang Seckon, Lim Sokchanlina, Amy Lee Sanford, Svay Sareth, Than, Sok, Tith Kanitha, and Anida Yoeu Ali. These works demonstrate that while extensive resources are invested in Cambodia to rescue the ancient cities associated with Angkor Wat, it is contemporary artists who seek to rescue the physical, psychological and personal memories of their present capital city, Phenom Penh. 

Presented by Leeza Ahmady, Season of Cambodia IN RESIDENCE Visual Art Program Director, and Season of Cambodia Visual Art Program Co-Curator, and Erin Gleeson, Season of Cambodia Visual Art Program Co-Curator

  •  Presentation: Our City Festival: Cultivating Communities
    This presentation takes a look at the role that festivals play in creating a dialogue about the arts and art production, with a specific focus on Our City Festival, an organization that since 2008 has hosted over 80 projects in 60 sites in Phnom Penh, involving over 500 artists, cultural activists, youth ambassadors, and community members.

Moderated by Radhika Subramaniam, director, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, with Shelby Doyle, faculty member, School of Design Strategies, Parsons The New School for Design and 2011-2012 Fulbright research fellow based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

3:00 p.m. - Living Arts District Workshop: Arts Production and Community Development
Speakers: Stiev Selepak: Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina, and Vuth Lyno
Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina and Vuth Lyno, co-founders of art collective Stiev Selepak, will present Phnom Penh’s historic White Building and the community-based experimental initiative Sa Sa Art Projects. Built in the 1960s, the White Building (originally known as Bassac Municipal Apartments) was one of the city’s first examples of low-cost, multi-story housing, and was specifically intended to house artists, cultural workers and municipal staff. Today, the White Building is one of the city’s most vibrant communities, hosting more than 2,500 residents, including classical dancers, master musicians, skilled craftspeople, cultural workers, civil servants, and street vendors. Located in the White Building and initiated by Stiev Selapak, Sa Sa Art Projects is an experimental space and residency program, creating opportunities for realizing new ideas.

The presentation is followed by a workshop facilitated by the faculty and students from The New School, with a goal of projecting the vibrancy of the living arts community in the White Building into a plan for a Living Arts Hub for Phnom Penh. Such New York projects as East 4th Street Arts Block and Long Island City Civic Action provide a model for the discussion.


Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

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