Salt Water Deluge (Tucoerah River) (2021)

Salt Water Deluge (Tucoerah River), 2021, is a work that centres around healing and preservation of culture following the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge. The art of silk weaving, a matrilineally handed down tradition, was one of many art forms targeted and came close to being erased by the Khmer Rouge perpetrators. This iteration of Salt Water Deluge was produced in collaboration with the artists' sister Solina Sok and uses salt, water collected from the Tucoerah River (Georges River) and silk fabrics sourced from Cambodian artisans. The water was collected with permission from Darug Elders.

 

Silk fabrics are submerged in a saline solution, a process similar to a method the artists’ parents use to pickle vegetables. Harnessing the preserving and curing properties found in salt and water, the work acknowledges how trauma embeds itself within objects and survivors and looks towards remedial actions and processes of healing.

Commissioned by Casula Powerhouse Art Centre

Exhibition Essay

Essay excerpt:

How did Khmer turn on Khmer?

Where did it all fall apart?

Where do I start? Where do I begin?

I suppose I can begin with the question of why. Why did it happen?

So many questions run through my head.

Yet when it comes to knowing where to start, I hesitate.