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Cambodian pottery
Elephant Pot, Cambodian pottery, 2006; Yary Livan (b. 1954); Lowell, Massachusetts; White stoneware clay, glaze; 9 x 10 x 10 1/4 in.; Collection of the artist; Photography by Jason Dowdle
Elephant Pot, Cambodian pottery, 2006
Yary Livan (b. 1954)
Lowell, Massachusetts
White stoneware clay, glaze
9 x 10 x 10 1/4 in.
Collection of the artist
Photography by Jason Dowdle
Detail of elephant pot: 2006; Yary Livan (b. 1954)
Flower Vase: 2006; Yary Livan (b. 1954); White stoneware clay, glaze
Yary Livan with spirit house: :
verticle bar Artist
Yary Livan
Lowell, MA
This pot features an elephant, a creature that Cambodians value both for transportation and for spiritual reasons. During droughts, farmers pray to the elephant for rain. It's maker, Yary Livan, is one of three survivors of his generation of artists trained in traditional Khmer ceramics at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The rest were persecuted and killed by the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s. Yary survived by using his knowledge of ceramics to build wood-burning kilns needed to manufacture clay roof tiles.

Emigrating to Lowell, Massachusetts in 2001 Yari set up a studio with support from a leader in the local Cambodian community. In no time, he began producing a surprising amount of work.

In 2015, Yary Livan was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship.
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