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Laconia Gallery


Calling Cambodia

Amy Sanford, Bill Moore

Friday, May 5, 2006 to Saturday, July 29, 2006

Calling Cambodia

A two-part exhibition of photographs and mixed media installation exploring Cambodia’s past and present.

Amy Sanford was sent out of Cambodia alone in July, 1974 at age 2½, prior to the Khmer Rouge take over of the country sending it into war and mayhem. Sanford’s father was fortunate to have contact with an American family who adopted Amy and raised her in Milton, MA. Amy’s father sent weekly letters as he tried to escape the country and the ensuing violence. After April 17, 1975, the letters stopped coming.

In “Suspended,” Sanford seeks to reconnect with her father through individual written letters that combine to form a large-scale gallery installation. The work is comprised of over 50 hand-crafted letters written on copper foil. Each printed message is meticulously hand-stamped to frame questions from the present, to understand the past. The messages are wrapped and protected in copper wire nests suspended in mid-air throughout the gallery. The sea of floating nests invite viewers to walk through, interact with, and read each message.

The installation is accompanied in an adjacent gallery space by a series of photographs of Cambodia taken by photographer, Bill Moore. Moore’s photographs document Sanford’s reconnection with her past, when he traveled with her on her first return trip to reunite with recently discovered living relatives. His work reveals the vibrant spirit of the Khmer people and present day Cambodian culture.

The true discovery is in Sanford and Moore’s respective artistic expressions that speak to universal themes with a quiet warmth of message that invites viewers to take their own journey.