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Rising Signs

By: Ali Sanderson Posted: July-20-2009 in
Ali Sanderson

Although not one to wax about the significance and meaning behind her works, Sokuntevy Ouer is anything but a shrinking violet. A contemporary Cambodian soul balancing on the fence between history and family, heavy with the burden of responsibility, while on the other side a future packed with independence, promise and opportunity.

Although young, Tevy is one of Cambodia’s leading women artists. Finally, after a few emerging years of showing in Cambodian galleries, Tevy has graduated to the international stage. Her most recent show FAMILY TIES at Java Café & Gallery, where she held her first solo show in 2004, has proved commercially successful and international collectors and galleries have started taking notice. This year Tevy will show at the Incheon Women Artists' Biennale, among other international residencies and shows.

Brought up in Batambang in the 90’s, life for a young Cambodian at the time was anything but bursting with role models let alone any female references. But, Tevy has sculpted her life as it stands, through inquiry, opportunity and a downright audacious, yet charming attitude, an attitude, which feeds her artwork immensely.

Renowned U.S. collector Pierrette Van Cleve director of Van Cleve Fine Art, who bought 5 works from Tevy’s latest how at Java, says of Tevy’s work,

“Sokuntevy Oeur creates unassuming paintings that are evocative, and revealing through her use of collective memory. The work, initially appearing light-hearted and innocent, hints at an underlying longing, a discord that is masked by playful narrative. Each work, painted with intensely saturated colors and matched with a fluid self-assured line, gives them a tribal feeling imbued with confidence. Tevy's choice of hand made paper reinforces the subject matter of Cambodian rural family life. Every face iconic and surrounded by objects necessary for substance, these are emotional portraits of a well rehearsed life- looking back at you and revealing the deep sacrifices which have been made by choosing duty over desire.”

“I love making art, it’s all I think about all the time, art is in everything,” Tevy says.

With Cambodian’s art market finally on the incline Tevy’s attitude, talent and dedication combined makes her an artist with prospects. In the coming years, as China’s contemporary art scene’s commercial popularity trickles down to its South East Asian cousins, Cambodian art will become more and more part of the international market and along with a few other talented young Cambodian artists, Tevy has an very exciting future to look forward to.


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