A collaboration between Jean-Baptiste PHOU & SAO Sreymao
Curated by Dana LANGLOIS
By a Thread is an exhibition of film, photography, installation and performance by artists Jean-Baptiste PHOU & SAO Sreymao that empathetically explores communication and grief.
The whole exhibition revolves around the film, My Mother’s Tongue which tells the story of a mother and son who don’t speak the same language, until something unlocks when she suddenly falls very ill. The emotional journey unfolds through a series of vignettes that draw the viewer deeper into the inner world of a son seeking understanding and to be understood. The work is very personal and at the same time part of the universal human experience.
The images from the film combining photography and digital drawing will be printed and form the central work of the exhibition. The audience will be invited to participate in communal grieving through a sculpture created by SAO Sreymao. They will be able to write their own messages and hang them to the installation. On the final day of the exhibition, viewers may join the artists while they perform a ritual cleansing to bring relief and shared comfort.
This exhibition is especially poignant at a time when the world is entering a post-covid phase in which many of us are left with our loss and memories. The body of work is emotionally intelligent, poetic and has been created with great sensitivity. Through a series of images and quiet actions, it creates space for connection and understanding, leaving us with the feeling that we are not alone.
By a Thread is presented as part of the Creative Generation Performance series and Photo Phnom Penh, with the support of Debra Fram + Eric Schwartz and l’Institut Français du Cambodge.