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(Cambodian, b. 1971)
Bamboo, rattan, steel wire
Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 2016.37
The work of Cambodian contemporary artist Sopheap Pich echoes the reverence for nature that pervades the earliest Buddhist art of India. Working in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, Pich and his team of artisans have created a monumental sculptural pair based on the form of a local variety of seed pod. The smaller pod turns toward the larger, which seems to offer reassurance and affection. The gridwork consists of hand-shaved bamboo and rattan, fired into undulating shapes and secured by steel wire made from recycled bombs and mines—remnants from the revolutions and civil wars in Cambodia throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The openwork quality of the sculptures recall the emptiness and hunger felt by those—including Pich—who suffered under the extremist Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979.
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