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Kanel Khiev
Before The Raze

The White Building, or the Bodeng as it is commonly known, is a municipal apartment built in 1963 located in the heart of Phnom Penh. As a symbol of modernism in Cambodia, this building served as accommodation for low-income teachers, artists, and government officers. From 1975 to 1979, the White Building was abandoned but was re-occupied by former and new tenants after the victory over the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

People living there do not like to tell others that they are residents of the White Building as outsiders only see the dark side of this building. In contrast, I felt it to be a home of harmony. When I first stepped into this building, I felt it had a peaceful and familial atmosphere. However, according to the government’s urbanisation plan, the White Building will soon be replaced by a 21-storey building. The demolition will have an emotional, economic and social impact on the people living there.

This is my attempt to record the history of the White Building, the youth, the artists going through their lives within a fading historical space that may soon be gone, but hopefully not forgotten.

We will have been young – Photo Exhibition

Kanel Khiev *1988, Cambodia

Kanel Khiev | Before The Raze © Kanel Khiev Kanel Khiev holds two bachelor degrees in computer science and accounting, and a Master’s degree of auditing. Currently, he is a Senior Core Banking Officer at a micro-finance institute in Cambodia. His interest in photography started in 2013. In order to pursue his passion to be a professional photographer, he participated in a few workshops and photography classes. His work was exhibited in several group exhibitions such as Portrait of the Soul in 2015, Adorned Body Transform and Perspective of Fashion and City by Night in 2016, and Architecture and Landscapes in 2017, organised by Institut Francais du Cambodge.

  • Kanel Khiev | Before The Raze © Kanel Khiev
  • Kanel Khiev | Before The Raze2 © Kanel Khiev
  • Kanel Khiev | Before The Raze © Kanel Khiev
  • Kanel Khiev | Before The Raze4 © Kanel Khiev