New York City will host more than 125 artists from Cambodia for a major celebration of Cambodian arts, culture, and humanities when Season of Cambodia lights up the city’s cultural landscape in April and May 2013. Distinctive works from master and emerging artists and scholars—in ritual, music, visual arts, performance, dance, shadow puppetry, film, and academic forums—will be presented by 30 of New York’s most renowned arts and educational institutions, marking an unprecedented city-wide partnership initiative to celebrate one of the world’s most vibrant and evocative cultures.
Season of Cambodia will run from Saturday April 6 to Friday May 31, 2013, with opening ceremonies scheduled to coincide with Cambodian New Year on Saturday, April 13. Leading cultural and educational institutions as varied as Asia Society, BAM, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Parsons The New School for Design, Mark Morris Dance Group and Arts Brookfield will participate in Season of Cambodia. This historic collaboration featuring pioneering artists and organizations from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap comes at a critical moment in Cambodia’s artistic revival. Only one generation ago the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979) set out to eliminate the artists and intellectuals who comprised Cambodia’s flourishing artistic community; as many as 90% of them died. As a “living arts” festival, Season of Cambodia will serve as an international platform that not only promotes opportunities for cultural and artistic expression in a country where half of the population is under the age of 25, but also helps pave the way for long-term partnerships between members of Cambodia’s burgeoning arts community and pre-eminent artists and cultural institutions in New York City.
Season of Cambodia is an initiative of Cambodian Living Arts, a non-profit organization based in Phnom Penh and the U.S. founded in 1998 by artist and Khmer Rouge survivor Arn Chorn-Pond. Once focused on the critical task of preserving endangered artists and traditional art forms in the country, Cambodian Living Arts today collaborates with Cambodian artists and organizations, serving as a catalyst to help develop and foster arts in Cambodia.