Phirom’s story is a lesson in self-determination and the pursuit of passion
“When travelling we are all together but with different stories to tell. Meeting people and learning their stories is important to me before I take their photo. We are all coming from somewhere, we are all going somewhere, but the journey connects us all and this connects me with the people.“
❋ Join us on March 27th to meet Phirom and feel his passion for his work and his country. You will experience his work and be escorted around his new exhibition in the Sofitel hotel grounds. The event is free and everyone is welcome, including non hotel guests. Refreshments will be available to purchase.
Phirom’s exhibition is an intriguing collection of photographic scenes taken when he journeyed the length of the new Northern Rail Line whichwas completed in 2018 and runs from Phnom Penh to Poipet covering 386 kilometres. The journey normally takes 12-13 hours, but for Phirom it meant getting off at Sisophon, Battambang, Pursat, and Kompong Chhnang to meet the people and take their photos.
“Through his adventures, Kak Sokphirom discovered how people overcame their obstacles, helping him melt his own insecurities.”
For me the train is like life: sometimes busy, full of noise and laughter, sometimes empty and alone, but wait long enough and at the next station someone new with a new story arrives to share the journey.” “This is my Cambodia, these are my people, these are their stories. I connect to my subjects through their stories and my photographs seek to communicate this to you the viewer. For me I take photographs with my heart, not my finger.” But while Phirom travels to find stories to take to heart, his own story, of how he became a pro photographer with his own business is also compelling.
Born in 1988, in ‘Site B’ a Cambodian refugee camp, he is the eldest of 11 siblings. Faced with what he calls the “usual option” to leave home and work in Thailand in the cement factories, he instead became a tuk tuk driver in Siem Reap in 2007, and then became a tour operator. But his tour business was handicapped by his inability to speak English.
“I worked hard to learn the language from my customers and from movies,” he says.
“By 2014 I could speak English well and I was able to offer my services as a tour guide. In 2014 I met an American tourist. I took him on a tour of the temples and was able to show him places that the usual tourists did not get to see. He asked me to take some pictures with his camera. “The American loved my photographs and said I had a natural eye, that I could find “extra in the ordinary” to make the ordinary extraordinary.
“He told me he was a professional photographer. At the time I had no dream of this for myself, but he helped give me confidence and soon I had sold my tuk tuk and bought a camera. He departed Cambodia, but he left me with a dream of new possibilities.”
To stop and stare, to take a moment, to really look, within and beyond, to see Cambodia through Khmer eyes this is what I want share with the world.
“It just made me so happy to see
the image on the screen – an
image I’d just made!”
Rendez-vous in our exhibition linkway at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa resort to discover these oeuvre d’art pieces and charm your eyes.
Enjoy one of the best golf courses in Asia at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra 20% discount on our annual membership Only $2000...Read more
HOLE IN ONE Monthly Membership Program Enjoy unlimited Green Fees at Phokeethra Country Club with our new Monthly Membership. Your golf cart...Read more
If you are staying at Angkor for any length of time, Sofitel Fit is your Siem Reap gym. Terms & Conditions: •...Read more