CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh, 08-1-10: "The Building" officially known as the Tonle Basaac Apartments or White Building, is a Phnom Penh icon known infamously for prostitution, drugs and child trafficking in modern Cambodia. Originally designed and constructed as alternative apartment housing for employees of the state in the early 1960's, with the advent of war and a liquited populace, the modern apartment complex quickly fell into disrepair. 

After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, The Building was occupied by artists from all disciplines mainly for its proximiity to the National Theater. After several years of neglect, this once pristine piece of architecture has eroded not only in terms of concrete and steel but has also broken down the bonds of family and community to their basest forms where survival has led in many cases to the sale of narcotics and to ultimately the bodies and souls of its many inhabitants.

In what is now viewed as Phnom Penh's pre-eminent slum, a journey into "The Building" reveals much much more, comprising a unique and strangely beguiling microcosm of Khmer society. 

These images comprise only a fraction of a broader selection of work photographed over a period of six months on a day to day basis. 
 (image by Ryan Plummer)
CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh, 08-1-10: "The Building" officially known as the Tonle Basaac Apartments or White Building, is a Phnom Penh icon known infamously for prostitution, drugs and child trafficking in modern Cambodia. Originally designed and constructed as alternative apartment housing for employees of the state in the early 1960's, with the advent of war and a liquited populace, the modern apartment complex quickly fell into disrepair. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, The Building was occupied by artists from all disciplines mainly for its proximiity to the National Theater. After several years of neglect, this once pristine piece of architecture has eroded not only in terms of concrete and steel but has also broken down the bonds of family and community to their basest forms where survival has led in many cases to the sale of narcotics and to ultimately the bodies and souls of its many inhabitants. In what is now viewed as Phnom Penh's pre-eminent slum, a journey into "The Building" reveals much much more, comprising a unique and strangely beguiling microcosm of Khmer society. These images comprise only a fraction of a broader selection of work photographed over a period of six months on a day to day basis.
©Ryan Plummer
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