About Curatorial Fellowship 


The Curatorial Fellowship is designed to develop the skills and experience of emerging and potential programmers in the arts sector, with a particular focus on performing arts practitioners but visual and film practitioners are also welcome. Practitioners include both artists and arts administrators/ managers. This is the first year that Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) launches this fellowship.

The program consists of FOUR components:

1. Experiential learning: UsingCLA’s cultural seasonin Phnom Penh as a platform for the Fellows to develop, practice, refine and reflect on their programming and curation skills.

Since 2018, CLA has been running a regular Cultural Season. The Cultural Season is a collection of performances, workshops, exhibitions and talks, which are presented annually. The target audience is young people, especially university students. The season will happen between January-April including programming in Phnom Penh and touring to provinces.

Every year, we give the Cultural Season a theme. This theme is used to give artists a starting point for creating new plays, dances and music. It is also used by the CLA team to guide us in putting together an interesting program that can showcase different angles to consider the same topic, and will inspire new perspectives and interesting discussions from the audience. We share the theme with the audience in our marketing materials, so that when they come to see the performances or to join a talk or workshop, they can connect their experience back to the big picture question.

The new artwork produced and presented during the season is created via CLA’s ongoing program of creative workshops (of script writings, directing and staged readings), residency, small-medium grants (commission) for young artists.

The goal of the projects, activities and performances in these programs is to encourage expression and creativity, give artists and administrators opportunities to develop new skills and
experiences, and build strong human resources and audiences for arts in Cambodia.
All three Fellows will work together closely, with Lead Curator Jean-Baptiste PHOU, throughout the program. However:

TWO Fellows will have a stronger focus on program design, including selecting the work that will be presented, and working on the order of the events etc
ONE Fellow will have a stronger focus on the aesthetic delivery of the program, including liaising with the artists and production teams to consider aspects such as staging and audience set-up, which will influence the audience experience of the program.

2. Inputs from experienced curatorial networks:A series of talks, visits and mentorship opportunities that will be put together to offer the Fellows the chance to be exposed to methodologies and lessons learnt from experienced practitioners, both locally in Cambodia (physical) and internationally (virtual).
Exposure:A regional trip to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, where the Fellows will have the opportunity to exchange dialogue with network of experienced curators and programmers from diverse disciplines. The fellows will be accompanied by the Lead Curator who will support regular reflection and learning during the trip.
4.  Reflection & Sharing:This will be an ongoing part of the program, and at the end of the Fellowship, Fellows will be expected to participate in an event where they will share lessons learned and reflect on their experiences in the program, with an audience.

Curatorial Fellows 2022


Jean-Baptiste PHOU

Lead Curator

Jean-Baptiste PHOU is a writer and multidisciplinary artist born in France to Chinese-Cambodian parents. He started his artistic career in 2008 after working in investment banking. First an actor, he performed in plays and musicals in Cambodia, the USA and in France. He then launched his theater company where he wrote, directed and produced his own plays. His productions include ‘Cambodia, Here I Am’ performed in both French and Khmer and ‘The Anarchist’, adapted from the novel by Soth Polin. In addition to theater, he also explores other mediums such as texts, sound, image and movement. His work tackles issues around identity, migration, minority experiences and the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide. He joined NGO Cambodian Living Arts from 2017 to 2020 as their Head of Creatives Programs. In 2021, he resumed his artistic practice and released his first film ‘My Mother’s Tongue’, first an audio drama turned into an experimental documentary. Furthermore, he has curated and directed several festivals related to the Cambodian contemporary art scene and society.


SEREI Vankosoan

Kosoan hold Bachelor’s Degrees in Classical dance choreography at Royal University of Fine Arts and in Education at Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh. She has been working at Royal University of Fine Arts since 2017. She has taught, danced and toured as a dancer for many years. In 2018, Kosoan was given a principal role in “Neang Wadhana Devi” or “Metamorphosis” by the late Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, the former director of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. Kosoan commits to promote and preserve the legacy of her ancestors. Hence, she always explores new opportunities to further contribute to the art form. She has involved in coordinating workshops and regional conferences at her respected institution which allow her to discover new interest and skills and buil d connections with artists of various fields from local and international organizations. Kosoan is assisting a professional research team working on classical dance archiving under the supervision of Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. Recently, she is doing joint research on sociocultural impact of Covid-19.



Milya is a Cultural exchange Program Coordinator  from the Japan Foundation Asia Center, Phnom Penh Liaison office that strongly promote cultural exchange between Japan and Cambodia. There are plenty of art events that aim to promote mutual understanding, tighten friendship between JapanCambodia and create new opportunities for Cambodian Artists to experience Japan by providing fellowship program to Japan, participate in art/performing art/film event in Japan and even bringing the first Japanese Film Festival to Cambodia.

In 2019-2020, She has been selected as the regional representative for Mekong Cultural Hub which is the sister organization of CLA that aim to play a role as a bridge between her arts community and a regional network of people working in arts, culture and development in Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. After 2020, she still carries on her mission to be a role to connect and expand her network within her communities to become one of the cultural leaders who is ready to take lead and to provide more opportunities to art community in Cambodia.
In 2020-2021, She has been selected as the fellow for the Living Arts Fellow of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) which is a professional development program for artists and arts managers that was going to work closely with artists and cultural leaders from around the region, building a network of some of the most innovative people working in the arts and culture. Through the program, she was able to explore topics relevant to her work in the arts, and develop her personal, professional and cultural perspectives.


SOY Chanborey

Borey was trained in Lakhaon Khaol (The Cambodian Classical Male Masked dance) at Secondary School of Fine Arts from 2002 to 2011. His specialization is Giant role, He earned a BA in Choreography at The Royal University of Fine Arts from in 2015. He also learnt and performed Large shadow Puppet with SovannaPhum Arts association. About contemporary dance, he performed in a work choreographed by Belle Sodhachivy Chumvan at the Institute of France and also worked with contemporary dance company from France. He choreographed his first work called “The Feeling of Street Dance” in 2010.

He has toured the dance performance ofLights and Shadow(consisting ofClassical dance, Lakhaon Khaol and Large Shadow Puppet) choreographed byHer Royal Highness Princess NORODOM BUPPHA DEVIin 2014 in Europe and Bahrain. He also joined an exchange workshop and performed in Japan. He was a former member of Amrita Performing Arts from 2014. At Amrita Performing Arts, he was trained as a contemporary dancer in a “Young Choreographers Platform (YCP)” with senior artists there. He has then developed a new contemporary dance piece calledThe Realas part of YCP and his other new dance,Contrastwas ranked the first place in the Cambodian Contemporary Dance fest in 2018 by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. He also joined a workshop and performed inthe Golden Agepiece by German-Korean choreographer Jee-ae Lim at Asian Culture Center (ACC) in Korea from October to November 2016. His best friends and he created a performing dance troupe calledLakhaon Khaol Youth of Cambodiain 2016.He has performed inThe Trojan Women Projectin New York in 2019. Now he is working on two new projects calledCalling for Rainby a renown multidisciplinary artist, Kvay SamnangandTrillionth Ichoreographed by Peter Chin of The Trible Crackling Winds dance company in Canada.

He was also a former member of the Regional Representatives in the second cohort (REPs 2021-2022) from Cambodia at Mekong Cultural Hub.

This grant is possible thanks to generous support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and Debra Fram and Eric Schwartz.


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