Monisovanya Ry studied as an artist in our Visual and Applied Arts School, where she attended the graphic design vocational training. With no previous arts literacy, her first motives to integrate into our program were very pragmatic: it was free and close from home. The holistic approach offered by the school soon intruiged this active young student, giving her the freedom to explore and develop her very personal artistic vision and sensitivity.  Fashion is one of Monisovanya’s passions and she decided to integrate it in her graduation project, where she touched upon the notion of remembrance associated with the rice production industry in her home province Battambang, nicknamed Cambodia’s rice bowl.

After she graduated in 2018, Monisovanya chose to work directly for Phare Ponleu Selpak, which was founded 25 years ago. Back then, our original concept was to give drawing classes to the most vulnerable children of the surrounding communities, to change lives through the arts. Over time, this motto took on its full meaning as we blossomed from a simple drawing school into the multifaceted non-profits organization she is working for today. When recalling her decision to work at Phare, Monisovanya says:

“Integrating into the Phare communication staff was a natural choice. This way I could give back to the organization who introduced me to arts and supported me through free education. It is now my turn to help the next young generations of students blossom into true artists! Additionally, I can get more field experience of visual art projects. As a strategic product designer I’m keeping constant contact with local suppliers, but also with Phare students and teachers who play an active role in the creation of new products for the boutique located on our campus.”

The young professional is part of a dynamic team developing Phare Boutique and brand, Creative Design by Cambodian Minds, which is showcasing the latest works from our Visual Arts School students. Each product is responsibly produced with partner social enterprises and the benefits are directly supporting the livelihoods of these new generations of Cambodian artists.

Just like them, Monisovanya sees her future as an accomplished artist and besides her main job, she is always on the lookout for new collaborations or artsy ideas to tackle contemporary issues affecting her world. She has notably been working as an art designer on a film by Human agency promoting Phare, for which she designed the style of the performers… And performed herself during the 2019 edition of Phare S’Art Urban Festival where she was walking around the streets of Battambang City wearing a dress made of collected rubbish found on her way, drawing attention to the alarming plastic waste invading our lives.

See her performance during S’Art Urban Festival here.
See her blog here.

Want to lend your expertise to changing lives through the arts just like Monisovanya? Join Phare Ponleu Selpak as a volunteer and use your skills and expertise in transforming the lives of children and youth in Battambang, Cambodia.