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Naked self-obsession


Heng Ravuth’s self-portraits in black and white are on show at Gallery XEM at 13 Street 178 as part of Photo Phnom Penh. HENG RAVUTH/PHOTO PHNOM PENH

“I’VE been obsessed by self-portraits,” said Heng Ravuth, who is exhibiting a series of nude self-portraits in black and white, at gallery XEM on Street 178 during Photo Phnom Penh.

“I feel that self-portraits allow me to freely express my feelings and project what I want to convey to the viewers,” he said. Aware that nudity can be uncomfortable, and even disturbing for Cambodian people, Heng Ravuth says that although we try to clothe our nudity, it is still an integral part of being a human being.

“I know it is connected to shame and dignity but I want to show people that nudity is us and that everyone is actually nude underneath,” he said.

Heng Ravuth, who teaches visual arts at the Global Art Centre, aims to create a sense of mystery and inner beauty in his 19 dark photographs at XEM.

“Most of the time, I try to show the movements of my body amidst sadness, longing and loneliness,” he added.

Heng Ravuth hopes that people who appreciate art would understand his work, and plans to keep photographing himself. He said he saw Photo Phnom Penh as a great opportunity to share ideas and to show his work.

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