statement

Nearly a year ago, Amy Lee Sanford created a durational performance work entitled Full Circle. Over a period of six days she sat in a circle of 40 pots which she broke one after another and meticulously put back together, returning each pot to its place in the circle. The performance was staged in a quiet darkened space with a circle of light illuminating only the artist and the forty pots. The scene suggested a private moment which the audience was invited to witness.

For the exhibition 40 Pots + 4 Sketches, the pots that were formed through a process of breaking and repairing during the performance are presented as sculptural objects. Purposely, the exhibition considers the pots as sculptures as opposed to the remnant of a performance, resisting the notion of ephemerality. The pots are displayed in one continuous line on the wall in sequential order, including both the pots and absence of pots. The absences are given equal importance in the installation as markers of time and action. The reconfiguration signals a shift from the personal and intimate performance of Full Circle, which demarcated clearly the line between artist and audience, to a splayed showcase open to closer observation and interaction. Similarly, Sanford moves the performance outside of the gallery through a series of “sketches,” documented on video and presented on a monitor facing the single row of pots. The “sketches” explore a new dimension of the work through the use of public space, experimenting with incidental audiences and their responses.

This exhibition is part of an on-going dialogue between the artist and curator, Dana Langlois. During the In Conversation they will explore this process and other aspects of the work.

Amy Lee Sanford (b. 1972, Cambodia) is a Cambodian-American visual artist working in both two and three dimensions, and performance. Her work explores the evolution of emotional stagnation, and the lasting psychological effects of war, including aspects of guilt, loss, alienation, and displacement. Watching and experiencing the difficulties of the Lon Nol era, her father arranged for Amy to live with his American wife, in the United States. In July, 1974, nine months before the Khmer Rouge took full control of the country, Barbara arrived in Phnom Penh for Amy. Amid rocket launches and raids, Barbara and infant Amy left Cambodia. Amy grew up in the northeastern US.

At Brown University, Amy studied art, science, and engineering. She furthered her art studies with individual courses at The Rhode Island School of Design, University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth and Harvard University. She started up an artisan company, where she designed and fabricated handmade, tessellated, porcelain tiles and mosaics for residential and commercial interiors. Amy lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (www.amyleesanford.com)

Exhibition details

January 30 – March 2, 2013

Java Arts|Lab

56 Sihanouk Blvd

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

about the artist

Amy Lee Sanford

Amy Lee Sanford (b. 1972, Cambodia) is a Cambodian-American visual artist working in both two and three dimensions, and performance. Her work explores the evolution of emotional stagnation, and the lasting psychological effects of war, including aspects of guilt, loss, alienation, and displacement. Watching and experiencing the difficulties of the Lon Nol era, her father arranged for Amy to live with his American wife, in the United States. In July, 1974, nine months before the Khmer Rouge took full control of the country, Barbara arrived in Phnom Penh for Amy. Amid rocket launches and raids, Barbara and infant Amy left Cambodia. Amy grew up in the northeastern US.

At Brown University, Amy studied art, science, and engineering. She furthered her art studies with individual courses at The Rhode Island School of Design, University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth and Harvard University. She started up an artisan company, where she designed and fabricated handmade, tessellated, porcelain tiles and mosaics for residential and commercial interiors. Amy lives and works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (www.amyleesanford.com)