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Deities in Temples (2023-4)


Delving into the matrilineally handed down practice of Pidan, Deities in Temples presents re-imaginings of lost, stolen, collected, and destroyed silk weavings. Pidan, a poly-chromatic weft silk weaving tradition, faced near erasure due to the targeted persecution of weavers during the Cambodian Khmer Rouge Regime. This resulted in a scarcity of ancestral weaving knowledge. Through this body of work, Sok engages with decolonial practices and methodologies to reclaim fragments of her Cambodian heritage.  


Sok collaborated with family members to produce new weavings inspired by descriptions written on museum registration cards. These cards found in the archives of the National Museum of Cambodia are the only documents verifying the existence of the original weavings. Using both the imagination and memory, the colonial practices of cataloguing and record keeping by French archivists are reclaimed to produce new ways to connect to lost heritage. Drawings, paintings, and sketches by her family were compiled to serve as the foundation for a new visual narrative. Through a deliberate process of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction, these elements are interwoven to create this body of work.


Sok would like to thank her mother, father, aunts, uncle, and sisters for their contributions to this project.

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