Vandy Rattana (b. 1980, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) began his photography practice in 2005 concerned with the lack of physical documentation accounting for the stories, traits, and monuments unique to his culture. His serial work employed a range of analog cameras and formats, straddling the line between strict photojournalism and artistic practice. Rattana recently became interested in the potentials of film making as a method of historical documentation.
In 2014, Rattana co-founded Ponleu Association, which aims to provide access to international reference books, through their translation and publication in Khmer. It also publishes its own books, focusing on various fields of knowledge (philosophy, literature, science, etc.)
In 2009, he co-founded Sa Sa Art Gallery. In 2011, he helped establish SA SA BASSAC, the first dedicated exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Cambodia.
Vandy Rattana lives and works between Phnom Penh and Tokyo.
In 'Monologue', the only sound - the artist’s voice - is directed toward his sister whom he has never met. Killed during the cultural cleansing of the Khmer Rouge (1975–79), she rests somewhere beneath a small measured plot of land alongside his grandmother and five thousand Cambodians, marked by two Pum Sen mango trees. Piercing together personal narratives and historical records, Rattana’s film is a tribute to the victims of a political catastrophe. As Cambodia is gearing toward development after the Khmer Rouge regime, the remnants of the victims become but a faint echo of the past, slowly disappearing without any documentation. 'Monologue' is Rattana’s act of witness and subversive remembrance against the corrosive tide of national development and human forgetfulness. The film invites the audience to join a conversation about the needs for historical documentation and collective healing of a post-traumatic community.
Theme: Social Science and Collective Memory