A large part of his artistic practice is based on this new narrative of his experience with a newfound awareness, connecting the staff to the broader socio-political universe. This is clear from his 2011 performance, My Boulet – which means my burden – where he carried a silver sphere 80 meters wide and two kilos from his Siem Reap home in Phnom Penh. During his six-day journey, Svay only ate food from foreigners and slept on a blue tarpaulin, the kind used as shelter by refugees from all over the world. To share his story is also to treat it. Svay’s work responds to his life’s themes, and is as critical as cathartic.
His itinerant and sustainable approach to performance engages a sculptural practice, the appropriation of materials and processes are intentionally associated with the war, requiring great physical endurance. He « layers » the past and present with notions of adventure, power and resistance. His works are inspired by a very specific context, but transcend that. Sareth’s art is distinguished by the fact that it often takes as its point of departure the materials and practices of war. In the past, he has made sculptures out of camouflage and iron and has made great endurance feats.
Svay works through sculpture, installation and performance, creating works that examine some of the many facets of war: violence, power, fear, resistance, futility, loss and survival. For Svay, artistic creation has become a way of documenting the violence of everyday life and dreaming of a better world. Svay’s works often take up simple objects of everyday life as a way of investigating contemporary issues and confronting them on the borders of Cambodia and beyond.