A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Hei, Han Khiang

Other Names: Tran Cuon; 夏汉強

Male
Asian American, Cambodian, Chinese American

Hei Hang Khiang is a documentary photographer. Born in Cambodia, he and his family were victims of the Pol Pot regime's genocidal policies. The artist survived to immigrate to the United States. After making his first documentary photographs of the Tian An Men Square uprising in China in 1989, he returned to Cambodia, interested in documenting the Khmer Rouge's legacy and the impact of the American-Vietnamese War on the lives of the Laotian and Cambodian people. Many of the photographs taken by the artist at this time reflect his impressions of how these people turned bombs into tools for everyday use. Art critic Helen A. Harrison wrote of Hei's photographs, "[E]schewing drama and sentiment, his images generally maintain a careful balance between engaging subject matter and formal structure. ---Mr. [Hei] notes that half the Cambodian population of nine million is under the age of 18. With war as a way of life, Cambodia's children are tenuously positioned between survival and annihilation. Mr. [Hei's] pictures often focus on the subtle evidence of this friction."

Gallery of Selected Works