Throughout my journey of learning and experimentation with clay, my love of Cambodia, Khmer culture, language, art and architecture will be an ever present influence.
This is because I recently completed my doctorate in Development Studies for which I spent a lot of time in Cambodia. My research focused on urban poverty, urban poor livelihoods and urban poor housing issues in Phnom Penh. (Hence my Khmer inspired tea set!)
I didn’t want to simply make my own tacky Khmer souvenir, one I could have bought in the Russian Market for 400KHR! Nor am I trying to appropriate Khmer culture, that isn’t my intention at all. My Khmer tea set will show a very clear connection to Khmer colours and shapes whereas future projects will be more subtle and abstract. Hopefully it demonstrates my genuine love and awe of Khmer history and culture in a sensitive way. Whilst the tea set is my first project taking inspiration from Cambodia, I hope to create many more projects drawing from my experiences of Cambodia, Cambodia’s stunning environment, Khmer history, art and architecture as well as contemporary urbanisation and urban development.
I don’t intend to draw only from my love of all things Khmer, not at all, but I thought I’d explain why Cambodia in particular is important to me.