Sangker Art Space

Sangker Art Space

Hi all, and welcome back to my art blog.  Recently I went to Battambang in North west Cambodia, a laid back, sleepy city with a vibrant art scene.  Whilst there I visited the Sangker Art gallery which had an exhibition on ‘The Cambodia War Widows Project’ by Chath Piersath and Mary Hamill.  

For this exhibition Chath Pierseth  a Cambodian poet, artist and humanitarian, who spends 6 months in the United States and 6 months back in Cambodia, worked alongside Mary Hamill, an American multimedia artist and photographer who looks at social issues.

Together they spoke to 14 elderly widows, who lost their husbands during the Khmer Rouge era or fighting during the 1970’s and 80’s, who live in remote and impoverished villages in Cambodia. Mr Piersath asked each of the women to talk about their families and the story of their lives following the death of their husband.  They also brought with them an item which reminded them of their husband, these ranged from barber scissors to kramas to carpenters saws.  These objects were then printed onto pillowcases, representative of Cambodian wedding ceremonies and ribbon tieing, using a process using cyanotype to create a photographic blueprint.  These are displayed together alongside the interviews from the 14 elderly widows.  The main theme in these interviews is the aftermath and how these women have readjusted to their lives without their husbands.  In particular the economic security and their livelihood which they now struggle with, many of these women couldn’t mourn their husbands because they had to go straight out to work, on farms and cooking food, making less than $1.00 a day.   

 

Sangker art