Kikuo Morimoto

2004 Laureate, Cultural Heritage
Japan, Born 1948

Project Goal

Revive silk production in war-ravaged Cambodia

Location: Cambodia

"Without risk, neither good art nor anything else worthwhile will happen."

Moved by the failure of Cambodia’s countryside to recover from decades of war, silk expert Kikuo Morimoto left his job in Thailand in the 1990s to set up silk-fabrication workshops in the hinterlands of Cambodia. His goal was to help impoverished villagers resurrect traditional silk production. His vision has grown, and he is now replanting trees needed to produce silk, reviving traditional weaving and providing profitable work to hundreds of people making heritage-class textiles. The next step is the establishment of a “silk village” as a model to help revitalise rural Cambodia.


number of Cambodians making a living in silk weaving and dyeing, thanks to Kikuo's project


year in which Kikuo founded the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT)


size, in hectares, of proposed forest preserve for growing plants and trees needed for silk production

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