Sopheap Pich (b. 1971) is recognized today as Cambodia’s most internationally prominent contemporary artist. Born in Battambang, Cambodia, he moved with his family to the United States in 1984, and received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. In 2002, he returned to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he continues to be based. Pich is known for working with local materials such as bamboo, rattan, burlap from rice bags, beeswax and earth pigments gathered from around Cambodia and making sculptures that are inspired by bodily organs, vegetal forms, and abstract geometric structures. His childhood experiences during the genocidal conditions of late 1970s Cambodia has had a lasting impact on his work, informing its themes of time, memory and the body.
His work has been featured in numerous international museum exhibitions and biennials throughout the world, notably Documenta 2012, and a 2013 solo exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich), which was the museum’s first solo show given to a contemporary Southeast Asian artist. Major museum collections of his work include The 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), and Cleveland Museum of Art. Most recently, he has been selected to present in the main exhibition at this year’s 57th International Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia), Viva Arte Viva, curated by Christine Macel.