Leang Seckon

When Head and Body Unite

Hong Kong23 Sep – 11 Nov 2017
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    Rossi & Rossi is pleased to announce When Head and Body Unite, an exhibition of new works by acclaimed Cambodian artist Leang Seckon. Composed of a variety of media–textiles, photographs, posters, found objects, Seckon’s artworks reveal intimate narratives of his memories growing up during a devastating and turbulent period in Cambodia’s history, and its subsequent attempts to heal. They seamlessly blend imagery and references from history, local folklore and religious iconography, while also drawing from recent events and popular culture.

    Tonlé Sap River Circulates and Reverses Flow (2017), a painting of three and half metres in length, demonstrates the breadth of the artist’s influences. A royal pavilion occupies the top left register, modelled temples of Angkor. In the lower register, Seckon’s has depicted a twentieth-century parallel, depicting global politicians of the 1960s–King Sihanouk, Chariamn Mao, General de Gaulle and Jacqueline Kennedy. To the right, an expansive landscape is depicted, within which are narratives about the resilience of the Cambodian people who are able to flow against the current, much like the river from which the painting takes its name.

    The title of the exhibition, When Head and Body Unite, references the recent repatriations of ancient stone statuary to Cambodia, and serves as a unifying metaphor for Cambodia’s healing after the wars and Khmer Rouge rule. Dead and Reborn Again (2016) depicts a seventh-century sculpture of deity Harihara, whose head was repatriated from France in January 2016 to be reunited with the figure’s body. A headless statue is depicted on the left of the canvas, standing in a Khmer Rouge ‘killing field’ of skulls. In the centre, the statue’s head is being transported towards the body through the sky by a flying Brahmin and an Apsara. On the viewer’s right stands the reborn and complete seventh-century sculpture surrounded by dancing figures. Seckon relates the fate of the sculpture to a folk story he was told as a child about a woman whose head is decapitated and separated from her body while travelling to the moon. The reunification of her earthly head and celestial body, as well as the reunification of the sculpture’s head and body, serve as a metaphor for the regeneration Cambodia has undertaken in recent years, both economically and socially.

    A fully illustrated catalogue, featuring an essay by art historian Peter D. Sharrock and an interview with the artist by curator Erin Gleeson, will be published to coincide with the opening of the exhibition.

    Artist Page
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    • Leang Seckon
      Tonlé Sap River Circulates and Reverses Flow

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      150 x 350 cm (59 x 137 ¾ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Journey Crossing the Border

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      150 x 300 cm (59 x 18 in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Dead and Reborn Again

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      200 x 200 cm (78 ¾ x 78 ¾ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      A Thousand Landmines under the River

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      200 x 150 cm (78 ¾ x 59 in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Gold Silt Creative Person

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      200 x 150 cm (78 ¾ x 59 in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      God of Wi-Fi

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      200 x 200 cm (78 ¾ x 78 ¾ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      New Market

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      100 x 100 cm (39 ¼ x 39 ¼ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Recreation

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      110 x 100 cm (43 x 39 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Why Hanuman Has Come Back to Cambodia?

      2015
      Mixed media on canvas
      150 x 300 cm (59 x 118 in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Four Generations of Political Propaganda

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      45 x 60 cm (17 ¾ x 23 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Russian Lessons for Cambodian Students

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      50 x 64 cm (19 ½ x 25 ¼ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Cambodian Refugee Camp on the Thai Border

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      50 x 65 cm (19 ½ x 25 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Phnom Penh Progress

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      43 x 60 cm (17 x 23 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Mother Gave a Mantra Shirt

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      42 x 60 cm (16 ½ x 23 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Cambodian-Vietnamese Collaboration

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      44 x 61 cm (17 ¼ x 24 in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      King Sihanouk Died in China

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      45 x 60 cm (17 ¾ x 23 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Changing Seasons

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      46 x 60 cm (18 x 23 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      American War in Vietnam. Bombs Dropped in Cambodia. Khmer Rouge.

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      50 x 65 cm (19 ¾ x 25 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Return of Sihanouk and the UN

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      49 x 65 cm (19 ¼ x 25 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Indian and Khmer Cultures

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      49 x 64 cm (19 ¼ x 25 ¼ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Song for the Khmer Republic Young Army

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      50 x 65 cm (19 ¾ x 25 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Duch Becomes Christian

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      49 x 65 cm (19 ¼ x 25 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Communist Music Notes

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      40 x 54 cm (15 ¾ x 21 ¼ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      English Language Is Popular in Phnom Penh During UN Time

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      48 x 63 cm (19 ¾ x 24 ¾ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Japan and France Face Each Other in Cambodia

      2017
      Mixed media on canvas
      49 x 65 cm (19 ¼ x 25 ½ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      A Popular Place for Foreigners in Phnom Penh

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      42 x 50 cm (16 ½ x 19 ¾ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      French Colonialism

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      49 x 64 cm (19 ¼ x 29 ¼ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Crossing Indian and English Cultures

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      43 x 54 cm (17 x 21 ¼ in)

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    • Leang Seckon
      Successful Music and Movies of the 1960s and ’70s

      2016
      Mixed media on canvas
      41 x 54 cm (41 ¼ x 21 ¼ in)

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