I met Serey Siv during my time in Cambodia last year. A Cambodian-Canadian, born and raised in Canada, Serey has lived in Montreal, Seoul, Tokyo, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

He is a mixed-media artist and visual storyteller whose work has been exhibited in Cambodia, Thailand and Japan. We instantly connected on our shared heritage and desire to connect and make an impact in our Motherland. He quickly became a close friend as well as the photographer who helped kick-start Roaming Hearts.

Serey (fourth from the right) with some of the Mirage team.

Now based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Serey is the founder and project director for Mirage Contemporary Art Space, a creativity incubator and independent art and design consultancy. Mirage is a collective of artists, art managers and photographers working together to create collaborative art projects in Cambodia and in the region. Their mission is that of re-discovery, presentation and preservation of Khmer art and culture, operating in a multicultural and inclusive manner, promoting artists and performers that fully reflect the cultural diversity of Cambodia.

Who is part of the Mirage Team? So far,

Creatives: Manuela Kind (Switzerland), Katarzyna Sumislawska (Poland), Kyungmin Mun (South Korea), Heng Darith (Cambodia), Thom Whittaker (England)

Photographers: Reiko Yagi (Japan), Shao Feng Hsu (Taiwan), Serey Siv, Aizzat Nordin (Malaysia), Michelle Chan (Hong Kong)

Career highlight so far? Hosting the World Press Photo and getting shortlisted for the Magnum Foundation’s Social Justice Program.

What do your brainstorming sessions look like? Usually very short and concise.

What does your week look like? Loads of meetings with different people from different backgrounds to try and get as many people involved / interested in what we do. Looking for new collaborators and partners.

How are you involved in the community and charity work? I want to see Cambodian contemporary art flourish and gain more exposure worldwide. At Mirage, we want to present and (re)-discover art through educational programs such as talks, guided tours, free exhibitions, etc.

What’s one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received? If you wanna make it in life, it’s all about how well you manage your time.

What do you do to chill out? Sunsets at Krom Mountain, skateboarding at a hidden pool spot

Favourite place in Siem Reap to grab a drink? Menaka’s Cocktails and Treeline’s Kingdom Beer on tap.

Next time you are in Siem Reap, visit Mirage to learn more about contemporary Cambodian art: MIRAGE Contemporary Art Space. Oknha Oum Chhay Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Located at the corner of Koulen Hotel, next to Heritage Walk shopping mall). Opening times – Monday to Saturday, 11 am – 7 pm.

Instagram | @miragesiemreap

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