Fire of the Year

Born in 1980 in Cambodia, Vandy Rattana is a self-taught photographer whose record of the daily activities of his family in 2005 was the subject of his first acclaimed exhibition in Phnom Penh. His has held notable exhibitions at the Hessel Museum in New York, (2010), 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (2009), and Kyushu University, Japan (2009). ‘Fire of the Year’ documents the vicious onslaught of fire in a district on the outskirts of Phnom Penh called Dteuk Tlah (which ironically means clear water) where 300 families lived in houses built on stilts by a river that is visible only as a floating blanket of plastic waste. While this series of prints stands as a grim reminder of the country’s underdeveloped infrastructure and the urban challenges faced by its citizens, the young boy, seen rummaging through the burnt ruins in search of recyclable materials, embodies the strength and tenacity of the Cambodian spirit, in its ability to bounce back from adversities.

Artist Name
Vandy Rattana
Accession No.
Digital prints on paper
Collection of
Singapore Art Museum
Modern Art Forms