Eternal is an exhibition that takes us back to our own consciousness, our imagination, our past, our present, and our future. Through three different medium, photography, painting, and print, you will dive into the world of three atypical artists Tytaart, Don Virao, and Jean-Baptiste Carraro to discover an ephemeral exhibition - eternal -
Tytaart is a Cambodian artist photographer, born and raised in Phnom Penh City. Using her keen eye, she captures through her portraits the nature of man in its most raw state; a real exposure of the soul. An experienced photographer, she paints portraits full of humility and truth; the nature of man in its purest form. His vision disturbs by the beauty and the sincerity of her work; another way to make a portrait speaks, something new!
DONVIRAO has been a French painter established for a couple of years in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh with the desire to offer a painting that generates inspiration and innovation for the youngest Cambodian generations.His contemporary paintings suggest a vision of a new dimension of modern painting with the purpose of giving a refreshing taste on traditional mediums and subject depictions.
Jean-Baptiste Carraro is a graphic designer born in 1991 and originally from the south of France.
After a Masters in Graphic Design and Art Direction, he joined Phnom Penh in 2016 to devote himself to his work. A former graffiti artist and illustrator, it is in digital that he flourishes today.
Jean-Baptiste likes to transcribe the essence and the bases of graphic design in his works to perpetuate and transmit his profession.
Life is a game and we are the characters. At the early stage of our lives when we are a toddler, we didn’t really know what life is going to bring to us — who we will grow up to be? What choices will be make? There are many unanswered questions and for the most part, we don’t really remember that much anyway or more like we didn’t care about it because these kinds of questions were quite irrelevant to the young minds. Perhaps unless you are Socrates then maybe it’s a bit different.
In this photograph, the subject is an albino Cambodian woman, who goes by the name Por Seng. She is commonly known as Yey Sor (literally translated as White Grandma) in her village Sre Chea, Kompong Trach. She is 75 years old. Due to her albinism, she cannot see very well. When she was a younger woman, she was a merchant who sells livestock, wheat, oil and sometimes, she would exchange her stock for fish. Her first marriage was at age 16, her former husband was in the military. They had one kid together; unfortunately both her kid and husband passed away during the war. After the war, she remarried at age 40 and has another kid at age 47. Her husband passed away in March 2020 due to old age and her son is now working at Sihanoukville as a construction worker. She is currently living with her daughter in law and a granddaughter.
This is how we met. Knowing that I will need a person with a very light skin, I thought that it can be interesting to find a Cambodian who has albinism. So I started my search online and stumbled across an article that was dated back to 1999 about a family with three albino boys - at that time they were between 5-10 years old. With my good bong, we took a trip to Kompong Trach to look for this family. We left Phnom Penh at 5AM to avoid the traffic. I didn't manage to buy any props that I intended for the shoot. So we arrived at Kompong Trach by 8AM. We stopped by the market to ask the locals about this family. We had no luck for this family but we have been told that there is an older woman who often come to the market to make some money and buy food. They told us where she lives - the name of her commune. We made our way there and stopped by the corner to ask a tuk tuk driver about the direction - then I mentioned her since they asked why we want to go there. The tuk tuk driver mentioned that she took a ride with him today and that she might still be in the market. I went back in but this time to the vegetables and meats section, in front of my eyes - she stood there all covered up from head to toe, only her hands and feets revealed, with a karma covering her head. She stood under an umbrella talking to someone. In between the umbrella shadow, there was a light path that went through directly onto her. I knew in my heart that this was her and with happiness, I went up to her and started asking how she is doing. She told me today she came to the market to ask for some money. She made 10000 riels ($US2.50) so she bought a small piece of pork. Then, I spoke to her about my intention and she said that she would loves to shoot with us and invited us for lunch. We bought some extra vegetables and meats. Just before we got into the car, I got some eggs and mushrooms - my last minute reflect to find something white to fit the concept of this piece - a monochromatic white.
During the car ride, we asked her about her life and she shared with us the details above. We asked her what is it like to have albinism. She told us that most of the time, she still feel like an outsider, someone who is different. She stands out too much. She mentioned that she dyed her hair black so that she can feel a sense of belonging. This part of the story hits me pretty hard - it makes me reflect a lot about us. Why us? Why are we born with a certain trait? Why can we be so similar but so different at the same time? In the photograph, the eggs symbolise the birth stage - the beginning of life - five different possibilities and characters of life. Do we have a choice before coming into this world? The mushroom on top of her head represents my tribute to buddishm - a similar hair to the buddha - for me this is is the start of Eternal - with life, comes death and perhaps after death, you reincarnated or move on to a different world of consciousness.
75% of the profits will be given to her to help support her family.