Water, Politics and Art: Contemporary Contexts for Architecture and Urbanism in Phnom Penh

An upcoming exhibition at Parsons about Phnom Penh, Cambodia – combining work from my Fulbright research, work by my students and by Parsons students. More soon.

Water, Politics and Art: Contemporary Contexts for Architecture and Urbanism in Phnom Penh
April 5-May 10, 2013
Opening Reception: April 10, 6:00-8:00 PM
School of Constructed Environments Gallery
25 East 13th Street, 2nd Floor
Parsons The New School for Design, New York

Water, Politics and Art offers an introduction to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, as a Living Arts City. Phnom Penh is located at the confluence of the Mekong, Tonlé Sap, and Basaac Rivers, an intersection known as the ‘Four Faces’ or ‘Chaktomuk’. This fluid geography creates architectural and urban conditions both sustained by and subject to the cyclical floods of the city’s rivers, producing challenges for Phnom Penh as it rapidly urbanizes in a flood plain. After decades of civil war and unrest, economic and political stability have brought foreign investment and extensive change to the city and its landscape. However in the absence of access to data, documentation, political transparency or a locally supported strategic plan, heavy-handed development practices are directing a new type of urban transition for the residents of Phnom Penh. Students from Royal University of Fine Arts, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Cambodian Mekong University, Norton University and Pannasastra University of Cambodia as well as Parsons The New School for Design present work that describes the reality of this urban transition, as well as alternative strategies for the future of Phnom Penh. Shelby Doyle, a faculty member at Parsons who was a 2011-2012 Fulbright research fellow based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, curates the exhibition. Her research is entitled City of Water: Architecture, Infrastructure, and the Floods of Phnom Penh. The exhibition is made possible through the support of Michele and Steve Pesner and Setpheap (Peace) San.

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