April 17, 2010 – July 25, 2010
More Than a Number supported in part by a grant from Mass Humanities is a project of Light of Cambodian Children, Inc. in collaboration with the American Textile History Museum, Voice of Cambodian Children, Lowell National Historical Park, Khmer Legacies Project, Cultural Organization of Lowell, Angkor Dance Troupe, and Lowell Community Health Center. It is a multi-layered project that will bring together a remembrance of the genocide that began thirty-five years ago, recognition of survivors and their struggles, and appreciation of today’s Cambodian and Cambodian-American culture. For more information, visit: http://www.reaksmey.org/MoreThanANumber.html.
The exhibition will include fiber artist Rachel Faller’s powerful artwork Jum, which means “remember” in Khmer. Two handwoven silk panels painted with haunting images of genocide victims create a path on either side of the viewer with audio in Khmer and English providing background and context. Approximately fifty “transit photographs” and stories gathered from members of the Cambodian community will testify to the years of struggle and deprivation in camps and holding centers, as well as the new lives created here in Massachusetts. These “T-pictures,” which identified each Cambodian refugee with a number and associated personal information, were taken just before an individual left a holding center or refugee camp. They are now, at once, an eerie reminder of the photographs taken by the Khmer Rouge of the people they murdered and a symbol of hope for the survivors’ future. Cultural artifacts, including textiles, dance costumes, musical instruments, and artwork will document the renewal of Cambodian traditions and the evolution of contemporary Cambodian-American culture.