FONKi is an artist from Montreal. He was born in France of Cambodian parents, who were refugees of the Khmer Rouge genocide, in the 70s. From the walls to the canvas, FONKi managed to adapt his art from the street to galleries. He is the guest of prestigious exhibitions, including by Christie’s, the famous arts auction house. Nowadays, collectors from Europe, North America and Asia own some of his work.
At 15 years old, FONKi discovers graffiti. He gradually grows into one of the most prominent figures in Montreal’s new generation of graffiti artists.His art becomes his oyster – as it brings FONKi around the world. He paints murals in France, Cambodia, Belgium, England, Mexico, Vietnam, the United States… Everywhere he goes, he paints giant portraits depicting local people. These anonymous faces communicate deeply touching expressions and have become FONKi’s signature.
His artistic process and inspiration take a critical turn in the summer of 2012. FONKi is the main character of a feature documentary entitled “The Roots Remain”, filming his return to his ancestors’ land. In Cambodia, he discovers a country at the crossroads, bubbling with changes at all levels of the society. He leaves his mark creating the very first “kbach” style graffiti lettering, a mix between modernity and traditional Cambodian art, which can be found on the hundreds-of-year old frescoes of the fabulous Angkor temples. Since he gained recognition as one of the pioneers of Kbach style graffiti, FONKI has been invited to share his experience in multiple conferences and interviews, including at TEDx and on France Télévision.
Upon his return to Montreal in 2012, he teams up with BONAR, a local artist, to co-found the consortium of artists Montreal ZOO (MTL ZOO). As the curator of art exhibitions through MTL ZOO, they support many artists – some already renown in the Montreal scene and other young artists rising through the ranks – to showcase their creativity in a range of artistic disciplines.