This photograph is part of Rattana’s Bomb Ponds series made in 2009 which focussed on the results of America’s secret bombing campaign in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Now, with the passage of time and the recovery of the local landscape, the bomb craters appear innocuous, though nearly fifty years later they still fill with toxic water during the rainy season. The artist’s lyrical and understated images are an ironic and poignant testament to an overlooked, traumatic history of unwarranted violence.
Bomb Ponds was exhibited at the Hessel Museum of Art, New York in 2010 and the Asia Society, New York in 2013. In 2012 it was acquired for the Guggenheim Global Art Initiative, supported by the Swiss bank UBS, which aims to give international exposure to contemporary art from South and South-East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Northern Africa.