In his first collection of sculptural works, Sothea applies his knowledge of architectural design to the media of iron and steel interwoven with hemp. The name of this collection of thirty sculptures, Manu, comes from the word “មនុ” in Khmer, meaning “humankind”. Manu, according to Hindu mythology, was also the precursor of Humanity. Sothea’s work represents the cycle of life, following the process of development of human beings from their simplest primitive forms to their most sophisticated structures. Their plinth, from which Sothea always starts, is the soil on which he plants one seed to grow (most likely a round piece of iron). This seed then emerges into feet and legs that resemble the roots of a tree, just as the arms and head take the shape of blossoming leaves.


Manu was exhibited in March 2015 at Plantation Hotel and Resort in Phnom Penh.