Artist: Sovanchan Sorn
Exhibition: this is all I remember
Media: various fibers
Social Media: insta- sovan
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sovanchan Sorn is a soon to be graduating Fiber arts major here at California State University. Sorn is a first generation Cambodian-American, who is using her art to bring spread awareness of Cambodian immigrants who struggled through the Khmer Rouge regime. Sorn supports the ideal that immigrants should be able to come to the US because we don’t know exactly what they are going through until we actually sit down and hear their story. (This one of my all time favorite pieces)
Sorn’s exhibition consisted of 5 interviews she had conducted with relatives who experienced the hardships of living in the Khmer Rouge regime first hand as well as 2 fiber pieces that had a much deeper meaning than one would’ve imagined. When you first enter Sorn’s exhibition everything is very aesthetically pleasing and simple, this was done to not take away from the actual art, the interviews that had been hung on the wall a few feet away from one another. At first it was completely silent then as you relax and began reading the interviews you hear a faint murmur of someone talking, this was the recording of what we were actually reading. Even though it was in a different language you can hear the hurt and feel the emotions coursing through them as they recall a very difficult part of their lives. Instead of the light being shown on the fiber pieces it was fighting to shine through them.
While talking with Sorn our conversation got very emotional as she revealed the inspiration for her exhibition. Sorn explained that her piece was a kind of “tribute” to her family and all they had gone through to get her to point she is at now in her life. Sorn’s family had lived through the Khmer Rouge regime, a terrible time in Cambodian history that separated families and completely destroyed others, but somehow Sorn’s family always found each other and eventually made it to the US. Though the journey was hard and well fought many things still haunted them. Sorn explained that her family members were more than willing to share their stories and did so with her and the rest of the family and revealed things to each other that some of them had never known. These emotions are beautifully revealed in these interviews and while taking with Sorn she explained that those interviews were the sole inspiration for her fabric pieces. She said the white piece represented the life and love that her family members have trying to shine through the callused layer that left Cambodia with after all those years of suffering.
Being the daughter of immigrants as well, i really took to heart what Sorn was doing with her families stories. No one really knows the struggles they went through and unfortunately this time in Cambodian history is often overlooked. It’s really inspiring to hear someones story and then see how it has effected other people’s lives, as i was talking with Sorn my eyes began to water as she explained more in depth all that they had gone through, and just how truly grateful she was for having such hard working and dedicated parents because without them she wouldn’t be in the position she is now, graduating college and being a successful artist. I really enjoyed this piece and respect how hard it must have been to make a project like this, about something so dark and sad turn out so truly beautiful.