Cambodian, b. May 5th, 1981

Born in Battambang City, in the northwest of Cambodia.

Kim Hak was born two years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime and he grew up listening to his parent’s memories of that time. Now, he uses his art practice to raise awareness of this country’s past – to remember, reclaim and reinterpret Cambodian social history from before, during and after the Khmer Rouge era.

Hak’ s work has explored a number of themes related to the cultural fabric of Cambodia, including survivor stories (memory, refugee camps, host countries, Cambodian diasporas, healing process, communities, humanity and so on), the funeral of King Sihanouk, architectural documentation and also the wider changing landscape of his homeland.

Kim Hak has exhibited extensively throughout Asia, Oceania, Europe, Canada and the United States of America. His work has featured internationally at art and photography festivals and has been published in a number of prominent photography journals.

Extra information:

Kim Hak received a Japan Foundation grant and spent January through March 2020 in Japan working on a new chapter. He collaborated with Cambodian immigrants, mainly residents of Kanagawa and Saitama, to create 40 new photographic works that form the fourth chapter of the Alive series. This collection looks at the path that led people to migrate to Japan as a result of the upheaval in Cambodia before, during and after the Khmer Rouge period, and examines their lives today through their possessions and photographs of those objects. By sharing knowledge through storytelling, we not only bring historical awareness to modern Japanese society and the people who live within it, we can also prompt questions about global social, humanitarian, and policy issues surrounding conflicts, immigrants, and refugees in the world today.

How can Cambodia’s past be preserved through the human body? Akiko Kitamura, Japanese choreographer tackled this challenge together with Kim Hak. Ambitious yet poetic, “Cross Transit” is a multimedia dance piece in which Hak’s video, photos, voice, and personal experiences intertwine with Kitamura’ s bold, progressive choreography. In 2019, they have performed in the United States of America as: Maryland, Washington DC and New York, 2016 and 2017, in Japan as: Tokyo and Matsumoto, and 2017 in Phnom Penh.

In 2018, The Rei Foundation Limited has partnered with Cambodian artist Kim Hak to produce a body of work that engages with 12 Cambodian families now in Aotearoa, documenting personal objects that hold meaning as a part of their journey in surviving the Khmer Rouge and refugee camps and then resettling far from their homeland. This is the third iteration of “Alive” in Auckland – New Zealand.

In 2018, Kim Hak worked with another Cambodian photographer, Neak Sophal to curate the slideshow “Revival”, a night of contemporary Cambodian photography at the 14th edition of Angkor Photo Festival and Workshops. Since 2011 till present, Hak has been being one of the tutors to give annually photography workshop to kids of Anjali House. And it is part of the Outreach Program of the festival.

In 2015, Kim Hak has been featured as a protagonist in a documentary film “Hidden Photos” which produced by Davide Grotta, Gabriele Borghi, and Alexander Fontana. This film is about Kim Hak, a young and talented Cambodian photographer looks for a new imaginary of his country, far from stereotypes. And Nhem En, a photographer enrolled in the Khmer Rouge regime, took more than 14.000 mug shots of the S-21 prison victims. He’s trying to establish himself as an entrepreneur of the so-called dark tourism.

In 2014, Hak has joined a project Jorng Jam means ‘to remember’ in Khmer. Jorng Jam is a contemporary art and history project working with Cambodian people throughout the world to remember, reclaim and reinterpret Cambodian social history from before, during and after the Khmer Rouge era. In 2015 the project traveled to Brisbane to engage with Cambodian-Australian living in the Marsden/Logan. Hak had been invited to be on art residency working on the project of Jorng Jam II in Australia which it is supported by Arts Queensland.

In 2013, Hak has published his first photography book “UNITY” which he had spent his time to document the reflection of ordinary citizens after the death of the King Father Norodom Sihanouk in October 2012.

In 2012, he was interviewed about urban trends in Phnom Penh for the French television program “Faut Pas Rêver” was filmed in Cambodia and broadcast in France on the France 3 network and in Asia on TV5 Monde.

Awards / Prizes

2018 Outstanding Photography Award at Xishuangbanna International Photo
2014 Finalists of the Exposure Awards of Lens Culture, London
2012 Best Artist in the “Best of Phnom Penh” of The Advisor, Phnom Penh
2011 “Residency Program” Prize of Musée du Quai Branly, Paris
2011 2nd Prize of Stream Photo Asia, Bangkok


2019 August “Alive” at Bophana Center, Phnom Penh
2019 June – July “Alive” at Objectspace, Auckland
2018 December “ON” at 7th Xishuangbanna Foto Festival, in Jinghong – Yun Nan province
2017 November “Alive” at Gallery Zlotowski (Photo Saint Germain 2017), Paris
2017 October – November “Left Behind” at Bophana Centre (Photo Phnom Penh 2017), Phnom Penh
2017 June “Alive” at Silo 6 (Auckland Festival of Photography 2017), Auckland
2016 October – November “Alive” at Eba Bahi (2nd edition of Photo Kathmandu), Kathmandu
2016 October – November “Tioulong” at Lotus Pond Gallery of The Plantation, Phnom Penh
2015 June “Alive” at Ayer Lofts Art Gallery, Lowell – Massachusetts
2015 April – May “Alive” at Foreign Correspondents’ Club Thailand, Bangkok
2015 January – February “Alive” at French Institute (7th edition of Photo Phnom Penh), Phnom Penh
2015 January – March “Unity” at Java Arts, Phnom Penh
2014 November – December “Alive” at Gallery 1961 (10th edition of Angkor Photo Festival), Siem Reap
2014 November “Alive” at Pisztory Palace during OFF_festival, Bratislava
2013 July – August “Drip” at HASY Gallery, Le Pouliguen
2013 April – May “Drip” at French Institute, Phnom Penh
2012 September “After 12” at META House, Phnom Penh
2012 May – June “Daun Penh” at Reyum Institute, Phnom Penh
2012 May – July “ON” at HASY Gallery, Le Pouliguen
2010 November – December “ON” at Mansion, Phnom Penh
2021 July – August “Sunset”, Fertile Ground at Center for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne
2020 November – December “Alive” at Factory Phnom Penh (Sa Sa Fundraising Auction), Phnom Penh
2020 August – December “Alive” at Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University – New York
2019 December – 2020 February “Someone” at Musee du quai Branly (Photographies du Cambodge), Paris
2019 November “ON” at Institute of Foreign Languages (Art4Peace), Phnom Penh
2019 October – November “ON” & “Someone” at Ambassade de France (10th of PPP), Phnom Penh
2019 July “Alive” at American University of Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh
2019 April – May “Left Behind” – re/dis/cover.Kambodcha at Medienwerkstatt Wienn, Vienna
2018 October “Alive” at Rodeo Window Gallery (5th of Suwon Photo), Suwon
2018 August – September “Left Behind” at The Conference on Art and Projects”, Kobe
2017 December – 2018 March “Alive” at Faux Mouvement, Centre d’ Art Contemporain, Metz
2016 July – August “Alive” at National Museum, part of Histories of the Future, Phnom Penh
2015 October “ON” and “Someone” at Queens Museum, New York
2015 October “Alive” at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York
2015 July – October “Someone” and “Alive” at Bangkok Art & Culture Center of Photo Bangkok
2015 September – 2016 January “Alive” at Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse during Renaissance, Lille
2015 June “Alive” at Logan Art Gallery (Jorng Jam II), Brisbane – Queensland
2015 May “Alive” at Somerset House during Photo London, London
2015 April – May “Alive” at Le Magasin de Jouets, Arles
2014 October “Alive” at Greenly Art Space, Long Beach
2014 March “Cambodia” at Thailand Cultural Center (ASEAN EYE CULTURE), Bangkok
2014 January – February “Alive” at Bophana Center (Jorng Jam I for Our City Festival), Phnom Penh
2013 September – October “After 12” at Old Sugar Factor (SIPF NOMAD), Groningen
2013 July – September “ON” at Le Magasin de Jouets, Arles
2013 June – July “Daun Penh” at Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong
2012 November “ON” at New Zero Art (International Multimedia Art Festival), Yangon
2012 October – November “After 12” at 3rd edition of Singapore International Photography Festival
2012 September “ON” at Bonington during World Event Young Artists, Nottingham
2012 July “Phnom Penh 2012” at Meta House (Free Your Mind Festival), Phnom Penh
2012 May – June “ON” at The East Gallery, Toronto
2012 March “After 12” at French Institute, Phnom Penh
2012 February – March “Energy” at Central World, Bangkok
2011 September – November “ON” at Musée du Quai Branly (3rd PHOTO QUAI), Paris
2009 December “Renovation of Central Market” at Psar Thom Thmey, Phnom Penh


2015 February Photo Phnom Penh Workshop, Phnom Penh – Cambodia
Tutor: Patricia LANZA (Anneberg Space for Photography)
2012 July Kep Expo Workshop, Kep – Cambodia
Tutors: Francoise Hugier (Agence VU) with her assistant, Cyril ROSE
2012 May National Museum of Singapore
Tutors: Rebecca Noris Webb & Alex Webb (Magnum Photos)
2011 October Photo Meeting of Stream Photo Asia, Bangkok
Tutor: Giulio di Sturco (Getty Images)
2010 February – December Studio Image of French Institute, Phnom Penh
Tutor: Alexandre Burgeat (Melon Rouge Agency)
2009 November Angkor Photography Workshop, Siem Reap
Tutors: Antoine d’ Agata (Magnum Photos) & Arantxa Cedillo (Agence Cosmos)
2009 August University of Kuala Lumpur with Amad Fami (a lecturer)