Cambodian culture and arts has received less support from it's local people in recent years. This has led to a decision by Khmer Art Action to retrieve what our ancestors have left to us. The fact that there has not been a lot of effort in bringing back such styles of theatre is concerning to us.
In 2015, Soung Sopheak and his team founded the non-government organisation, Khmer Art Action (KAA). They believed that culture and art would not be able to flourish unless people understood its meaning and value. The new generation would never understand the value of Cambodian historical masterpieces unless they were consciously embraced.
Today, KAA is working tirelessly to bring Khmer culture and arts back to life through theatre plays, short film and video productions, art events and partnerships with other NGOs regarding Cambodian art.
KAA's art is intergenerational and aims to develop creative mindsets so as to create positive change. It strives to enable communities to live in peace and harmony by fostering empathy and understanding through art. KAA's vision is to reinforce and sustain the future of Cambodian culture and art, so that it is able to positively influence communities at national, regional and international levels.
1. To foster intergenerational dialogue.
2. To produce new forms of arts that enhance the modernity and prosperity of Cambodian culture and appeal to a wide range of audiences.
3. To train young people to develop their individual and collective talents and abilities to the greatest possible extent.
Meet Our Founder
Khmer Art Action (KAA) was founded by Soung Sopheak – A playwright and director who is passionate about art and Lakhorn Niyeay. Khmer Art Action was created for the purpose of keeping Lakhorn Niyeay alive and promoting art as a form of mental healing.
"It all started when I decided to pursue the theatre major at the University of Fine arts of Cambodia. I am so passionate about Cambodian arts, customs, perspectives which unexpectedly aspire me to become a theatre director. What fascinated me the most is that each aspect of Cambodia arts has its own unique story and journey to tell. They describe our gentleness, respect, politeness, obedient and more importantly how honest we are as human beings. However, there are factors that contribute to the neglecting of Cambodia arts."
Lakhorn Niyeay is an art form in Cambodia that is so old, that many Cambodians have forgotten about it. The performance art is solely based on the characters’ speeches and the storylines usually depict deep social issues of the present time. Lakhorn Niyeay is not an easy art. Lakhorn Niyeay lost its popularity after the civil war in Cambodia. Experts say it takes almost 10 years to learn how to perform, write scripts and direct a play, so many Cambodian people have been hesitant in bringing back the art form.
KAA brings Lakhorn Niyeay back to the community through short films and live performances. They perform in schools, communities and there is an annual show at the National Theater every December. KAA is working to connect more people, especially the young generation to spoken theatre so that they can understand the role that Lakhorn Niyeay plays in Cambodian society. The ultimate goal is to inspire them to love and preserve this art form.