These past weeks, our big Phare family has been counting on everyone’s solidarity, firmly believing that we will come out of this COVID-19 pandemic stronger. Home confinement has provided Phare artists with time to reflect on this huge wave affecting us all and adapt to the situation by doing what they know best.

While our performers did a “Stay home, stay fit” TikTok video contest showing creative training initiatives from their homes, our visual arts students and alumni expressed their personal insights through inspiring art works*. By showcasing them on social media, they wanted to share their concerns but also their longing for freedom, happy thoughts and nature, allowing us to escape to for a moment… Imagination is the key!

More than ever, now is the time to celebrate art and its universal capacity to build resilience, a motto that has accompanied Phare Ponleu Selpak since its very beginnings. We count on everyone’s support to keep the Brightness of the Arts shining during the COVID-19’s outbreak and beyond. Together we can overcome any challenge.

A place called home, Design by Panhavorn Han, 1st Year student in Phare Visual Arts School

Panhavorn Han: “This imaginary place is where I want to be and isolate myself these days. The color pallet was chosen to emphasize a “home” feeling, and the natural setting to illustrate my introverted and quiet personality, with the wind and contemplation for sole company.”

Khmer confinement, Watercolor on paper by Chankrim Mil, Phare alumnus and artist in residency at Romcheik 5 Art Space in Battambang

Chankrim Mil: “In Cambodia today, people have to quarantine in their small house with all family members together, and buy more rice and food to store at home. They are worried because of the virus, but also their financial struggle. Some families tend to overthink their issues and how to survive in this crisis, they can become psychologically damaged.”

House under water, Design by Sovireak Ny, 2nd Year Student in Phare Visual Arts School

Sovireak Ny: “Quarantine at home makes me think about my childhood’s dream house. I don’t know how to swim, so when I was kid I thought if I had a home under water, for sure I could swim properly!”

Design by Nat Vinet, Phare alumnus, architect and graphic designer in Battambang

Nat Vinet: “Since we have to spend a lot of time at home to protect ourselves from the virus, I created this imaginary house where I would enjoy staying during quarantine, with space, water to swim and a lot of trees around.”

Designs by Neang Chanty, 2nd Year student in Phare Visual Arts School

Neang Chanty: “I want to be confined in a place inside the forest with a lovely tame dinosaur! My second option would be a house where I could float around like in space, freely and happily.”

Muslim woman, drawing by Mout Bunthorn​, 3rd year student in Phare Visual Arts School

Mout Bunthorn: “I want to talk about the sad situation of an Islamic woman who had COVID-19 in Battambang. She has been facing complete isolation far from her beloved family, and discrimination from people surrounding her. The virus caused her a lot of pain, like many other people around the world”

Design by Koem Yean, Phare alumnus, graphic design teacher at Phare and fashion designer

Koem Yean: “This artwork is related to all the safety and confinement practices Cambodians apply to slow down the spread of the virusn. Wearing a mask whenever we go out, carrying hand sanitizer, washing our hands with soap, doing some workout, keeping our house clean.”

Ready to help Phare students express themselves and strengthen their communities through the arts? Get involved in our collective child sponsoship program to support our students on their artistic journies.