In US, Cambodian Artists Reflect on Refugee Pasts

“Interlace,” an exhibition that opened in New York City on Friday night, features the work of three Cambodian artists who grew up in the U.S. after fleeing the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s and early ’80s.

According to the show’s curator, Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, the contemporary creations of Anida Yoeu Ali, Amy Lee Sanford and Linda Saphan address “three main concerns.”

A wall sculpture by Amy Lee Sanford. The pieces in relief are covered with sections of a letter written by her father before he died in 1975.
A wall sculpture by Amy Lee Sanford. The pieces in relief are covered with sections of a letter written by her father before he died in 1975.

“The place of the homeland as the center of the diasporic journey—explored primarily in Saphan’s [collage] works; that of memory as a device that…allows negotiation of the past into the present—mostly reflected in Sanford’s mixed-media installations; and the role of the host country as a situation of acceptance and/or alienation—unraveled by Ali’s video works,” she said in an email.

One installation by Ms. Sanford consists of clay pots from Kompong Chhnang province that she broke and repaired, a nod to Cambodia’s attempts to rebuild following decades of conflict.

“I am very interested in the process of breakage, coming apart and healing,” Ms. Sanford said in an email. The exhibition at the inCube Arts SPACE runs through June 30.

[email protected]

© 2016, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.