The rise of the Pol Pot regime in the wake of the Vietnam War transformed a country desperate to steer free of the violence occurring in its neighboring country. The genocide of the Cambodian people organized by a native ruler defies the terminology of genocide according to the United Nations legal definition. Approximately 4 million Cambodians (one third of its entire population) perished between 1975 – 1979 in death and work camps, by execution and torture. Buddhist monks and Buddhist religion were targeted for destruction with 68 thousand monks slaughtered and temples destroyed. Today the nation is still wounded by this massive destruction with schools ignoring the history of the genocide and its victims, and criminal leaders of that time being honored as heroes. This illumination bears testimony to the silencing of the children of Cambodia, and recognizes foundational periods of ancient Cambodian civilization. The central composition focuses on the geographic feature of the Tonle Sap, the originating source of settlement and continued life of this South East Asia peninsula. It honors the efforts of Buddhist ritual arts to facilitate peace, and documents the cry of the survivors of this genocide.
IIllumination Completed 2005