Moel Knong មើលក្នុង
A solo exhibition by Kanitha Tith
Curated by Roger Nelson
02 December 2023 – 27 January 2024
Saturday 02 December 2023, 7 – 10 pm
A+ WORKS of ART is located at:
d6-G-8, d6 Trade Centre, 801 Jalan Sentul 51000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A+ Works of Art presents Moel Knong មើលក្នុង, a solo exhibition by the internationally celebrated artist Kanitha Tith (1987—), who lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is Kanitha’s first solo exhibition in Malaysia.
The exhibition Moel Knong មើលក្នុង by Kanitha Tith features sculptures, paintings and drawings that foreground the artist’s laborious, meditative, and repetitive processes, entangling the artist’s inner life with abstract reflections on Cambodia’s troubled modern history.
Moel Knong មើលក្នុង follows Kanitha’s acclaimed presentation at the 58th Carnegie International in 2022, where she was the first artist from Cambodia invited to show work in the prestigious biennial exhibition’s 126-year-long history.
The exhibition title is untranslated; this suggests the limits of language and the poetic openness of Kanitha’s artistic practice. How do we see, and what is within? Like many things (in life and in the art of Kanitha Tith), the Khmer expression moel knong is not easily translatable. In the simplest terms, moel is to look, and knong is inside—but when the words are combined, moel knong takes on an array of meanings ranging from the medical to the existential, encompassing the mundane and quotidian as well as the technical and highly specialized. In this way, the title reflects and extends the exhibition.
About the Artist
Kanitha Tith (b. 1987) is an artist born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she continues to live and work. Her practice engages with laborious, meditative and repetitive processes in pursuit of a feeling of freedom. She works across several artistic media, making sculptures, installations, performances, videos, and works on paper. Kanitha often draws on personal experiences as well as collective memory of Cambodia’s troubled modern history, translating these complex issues into a gentle language of organic abstraction.
Kanitha is also active in Cambodia’s burgeoning independent cinema industry as an actor, director, and artistic director, closely affiliated with the award-winning film production company, Anti-Archive. She graduated with a degree in interior design from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, shifting focus to artistic practice after discovering the sense of freedom that comes with using daily objects to make artworks.
Kanitha has exhibited at prestigious exhibitions in Cambodia, Southeast Asia and internationally. In 2022, a large installation comprising of sculptures and works on paper was exhibited in the 58th Carnegie International, curated by Sohrab Mohebbi; Kanitha was the first artist from Cambodia to join this prestigious biennial exhibition in its 126-year history. Also in 2022, she exhibited a substantial body of works in the 11th Singapore Biennale. She has shown work at the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), ifa (Berlin and Stuttgart), French Cultural Center (Phnom Penh), and SA SA BASSAC (Phnom Penh), and many other venues.
Kanitha’s work is held in several prominent private and public collections internationally, including at Singapore Art Museum, and has been critically acclaimed in specialist art publications including Artforum. She has undertaken residencies at the Rijksakademie (Amsterdam), Bose Pacia (New York), Arts Initiative Tokyo (Tokyo), and SA SA BASSAC (Phnom Penh), among others.
About the Curator
Roger Nelson is an art historian and curator, and Assistant Professor of Art History in the School of Humanities at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was the 2022 recipient of the A.L. Becker Southeast Asian Literature in Translation Prize, presented by the Association for Asian Studies, for his translation of Suon Sorin’s 1961 Khmer novel, A New Sun Rises Over the Old Land (Singapore: NUS Press, 2019). He researches modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia, with a recurrent concern with questions of historiography and method, including as they relate to gender, trans-media intersections, translation and under-studied artists. His current book project considers how art histories have been (re)imagined within artistic practices across the region during the 20th and 21st centuries. He is also currently co-curating a major retrospective of Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook. Roger was previously a curator at National Gallery Singapore, and a postdoctoral fellow at Nanyang Technological University. He is co-founding co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published in print and online by NUS Press.
Roger has curated exhibitions internationally, including at Sa Sa Art Projects and SA SA BASSAC (Cambodia), Jim Thompson Art Centre (Thailand), National Gallery Singapore, and elsewhere. Most recently, he curated The Unfaithful Octopus at ADM Gallery, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); the exhibition will travel to MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum (Thailand) in early 2024.
A+ WORKS of ART is a contemporary art gallery based in Kuala Lumpur, with a geographic focus on Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Founded in 2017 by Joshua Lim, the gallery presents a wide range of contemporary practices, from painting to performance, drawing, sculpture, new media art, photography, video and installation. Its exhibitions have showcased diverse themes and approaches, including material experimentation and global conversations on social issues. Collaboration is key to the ethos of A+ Works of Art. Since its opening, the gallery has worked with artists, curators, writers, collectors, galleries and partners from within the region and beyond, and continues to look out for new collaborations. The gallery name is a play on striving for distinction but also on the idea that art is never without context and is always reaching to connect — it is always “plus” something else.
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12 pm – 7 pm, Tuesday to Saturday
(Closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays)
* Visit to the gallery is by private appointment only.
Please contact +6018 333 3399 or email email@example.com
For more information, please contact:
Tom Van Blarcom or Nuie Titichayapon