A+ Works of Art presents Moel Knong ម ើលក្នុង, 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 ម ើលក្នុង 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 ម ើលក្នុង 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.
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 the 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 artwork.
Kanitha has exhibited at prestigious exhibitions in Cambodia, Southeast Asia and internationally. In 2022, a large installation comprising sculptures and works on paper was exhibited at 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 at the 11th Singapore Biennale. She has shown work at the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), ifa (Berlin and Stuttgart), French Cultural Center (Phnom Penh), SA SA BASSAC (Phnom Penh), and many other venues.
Kanitha’s work is held in several prominent private and public collections internationally, including at the 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.
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