Chhan Dina

I’m 20 years old, born in Phnom Penh, and live with my mother, two younger sisters and three younger brothers.  When I was younger, I enjoyed coloring pictures, using very bright colors; and I liked making small clay pots at play with my cousins, using clay I found near a lake.  One time we made a large clay puppet and dried it on the house roof.  Sometimes when small I would draw on other people’s houses with chalk.  I also like drawing cartoons and my family members.

In 1998 my mother brought me to the studio to study part time after school.  After a year of part time, I began full time and have studied drawing with pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, oil pastel, pen and brush and ink.  At the studio I’ve also studied watercolor and oil painting, screen printing, clay pottery and sculpture—I still like drawing best.

I love drawing and painting, and this, my first exhibition is a good opportunity and I hope to have another next year.  I also hope there can be a large exhibition for artists from many countries—where artists can get to meet each other.  I hope that many will be encouraged by our art.  I also hope to study abroad and one day to teach Cambodian children.

Chhorn Bun Som

I’m 19 years old, originally from Kompong Speu.  I moved to Phnom Penh with my family in 1993, where I also began public school the following year.  I first began drawing when very young in K.S., using my finger in the dirt because we had no paper or pencils.  Sometimes I would draw on the walls of our house with charcoal.

My father brought me to the studio to study drawing in early 2000 when I wasn’t studying in public school.  At first everything I saw here was new and strange.  Here I learned that it is important to learn to draw well first, then begin to use my imagination and develop my own style of drawing and painting.  At the studio we’ve studied pencil, charcoal, oil painting, water color, screen printing, clay pottery and sculpture.  I enjoy doing all because I can use my imagination, even in cooking!

I’m very happy for the chance to have this exhibition at Java, and I hope it will help encourage other people to expand the use of their imaginations beyond the everyday.  This is also an encouragement for me to be able to share more with Khmer youth.

In the future I hope to travel to other countries to gain more experience and training in order to help teach Khmer youth.  It is very important to have new and bigger ideas to share with others.

Lam Soeung

I am 24 years old, living with my parents and two younger brothers.  When I was small I enjoyed making small clay pots and pans for playtime.  In public school I liked drawing and in 4th grade was given a project, along with two boys, to make a copy drawing of the school with children at play.  I remember we had a drawing class on Fridays.  In 1998 I passed the examination for graduation from high school.

After graduation I remained at home helping my mother.  Then in December 1999, my friend Dina brought me to visit the studio.  I saw all the clay objects and wanted to learn that, but I was afraid to draw.  Then after a few weeks I began drawing studies.  I have been drawing, painting, making clay pots and sculptures, and screen printing nearly five years now and feel more hopeful for my future.

I’m very happy to have this exhibition at Java; it is my first and I hope many people will come to see it and be encouraged to help support Khmer art.  I hope we can have more exhibitions in the coming years.

I want to continue to study drawing and painting, and very much want to study computer graphic design; and one day to have a shop with friends.

about the artist

Chhorn Bun Som and Lam Soeung Chhan Dina