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No stranger to hardship, Ly Pisith has a striking past.
Having fled his home country as a child to escape the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime, Pisith was brought to France, where he spent many lonely years in a foreign land where the culture was alien to him. He had lost his family. Full of anger and tangled emotions, Pisith instinctively sought art as a way to connect to the world around him, drawn to Paris’ swelling operas and roving design exhibitions.
Inspired by art, he later trained as a product designer at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Bordeaux and the prestigious Beaux Art de Paris. Pisith’s jewellery designs began from a desire to create, and they became a very personal way for him to channel the complex feelings held towards his violent past and homeland, into creating hauntingly beautiful pieces of jewellery, each telling a unique story filled with emotion.
Today, he has grown a small team of Cambodian artisans and opened three boutiques in Cambodia for a small, but thriving, brand called Garden of Desire. We checked in with Pisith to better understand his design inspirations, and he shares how he understands his cultural roots and what it means to have found, and perhaps created, a home.