The New Apsaras

The largest export in Cambodian economy is the garment industry, with most of it being sold to ‘fast fashion’ companies in Europe and the US. Cheap clothes for new trends, while back here the whole system is being supported by around 700.000 to 800.000 workers, 90% of them women. Who will never be able to afford the kind of clothes they make with their hands, receiving just $183 per month. But that’s how they support their families, with her fingers and a needle.

On the other hand the figure of Apsara is very prominent in Khmer culture, with these semi-goddess entities being considered lucky and masters of dance. One of their most iconic gestures is the way they press thumb and index fingers together and gently move their hand. Almost like a tailor holding her needle, a quasi holy movement that impacts the lives of millions. The exhibition pretends to be a homage to the garment workers, the new Apsaras of Cambodia, the ones who sew the country together one stitch at a time.