In 1969, the United States began a four year long carpet-bombing campaign in Cambodia where more than 2.7 million tons of bombs were dropped on the country, exceeding the amount it had dropped on Japan during WWII by almost a million tons. During this time, about 30 per cent of the country’s population was internally displaced, as many as 500,000 people died as a direct result of the bombings and hundreds of thousands more died from the effects of displacement, disease or starvation. The US bombing campaign was a key factor in the increase in popular support for the Khmer Rouge rebels, after their victory in 1975, the Khmer Rouge oversaw a period in which another two million Cambodians died from execution, hunger and forced labour.
TRANSFORMATION THROUGH DESIGN
Saomao’s uses NEUTRALISED MUNITIONS and transforms objects of destruction into beautiful and meaningful collections of unique and unusual jewellery and fashion accessories. Saomao promotes peace & compassion and expresses an ideology of transformation by overriding negative and destructive actions. who began transforming bombs to cowbells in the 1980s….. A positive statement of a country moving forwards.
Saomao supports artisan livelihoods and development in Cambodia, the network of artisans expands further to weavers and silversmiths in forgotten and off-the-grid places. Saomao promotes entrepreneurship and community development.