Among the foremost members of the emerging Cambodian contemporary art scene, Leang Seckon was born in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, in the early 1970s at the onset of the American bombings of Indochina and grew up during the rise of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime.
A 2002 graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, his works have appeared as illustrations throughout Cambodia and the United States. Noted exhibitions include the artist’s participation in the 2012 Shanghai Biennale, and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) held at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia, in 2015, 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in Japan in 2009, the ASEAN New Zero Contemporary Art Exchange, Yangon, Myanmar, also in 2009, and his Rubbish Project (2008) a public project in Phnom Penh. He has exhibited widely in his home country as well throughout Asia. In 2010 Rossi & Rossi hosted his first solo exhibition in Europe.
His refined, yet modest character is clearly reflected in his multi-layered, highly symbolic paintings, where he bares both his own soul and that of his country. He does not try to hide the pain, but rather transfigures it in a symbolic manner. I was surprised at Leang Seckon’s humility, openness and willingness to share. Completely trusting, he wasn’t afraid to show his human vulnerabilities – but never dwelt on the terrible, unspeakable things he saw and experienced when he was a child survivor of the Khmer Rouge atrocities.