Karona is a 19-years-old young man from Siem Reap’s countryside, he is a visual art student of Phare’s Visual and Applied Arts School and the first recipient of a visual arts scholarship from the Srey Bandaul Art Development Fund. “The aspects of Phare that I enjoy the most are the surroundings of the campus, the qualified lecturers who have excellent teaching skills, and all of my friends who share my enjoyment of the arts,” said Karona. “The fact that I can feel myself improving and I can support others in the same way that my seniors do, makes me the happiest”. 



“While I was in Siem Reap, Mr. Osman and my seniors visited an art exhibition, in which I had the opportunity to get to know them. Was beautiful when they shared with me their greatest artistic moments and suggested to apply for the scholarship from the Srey Bandaul Art Development Fund so that I may carry on with my journey. That’s the reason why I eventually decided to apply for”.    


‘This scholarship has given me a lot of benefits and I’m truly motivated to study both for my own and for those who gave it to me. I arrived Phare around this January, therefore, I did not have any memories about Lokru Bandual. Even so, I still got to know something about him thanks to my friends and teachers, including the fact that he was a nice and friendly person, with a special relation with his students. He was one of the coolest professors with the most creative teaching techniques’. 


During his studies, Karona has learnt new techniques for painting. “So far, I have studied lots of painting types; at the beginning of my first class, I started to draw animals and trees, and now I still continue to do it because that is one my favorite subjects to draw” – said Karona. His lessons have taught him about various artists’ styles. It can take up to a month to finish each lesson. “To learn we have to dive into the subjects in stages.” For example, “for a lesson around a masterpiece of art, the teacher will assign us projects requiring us to do research and make images in order to complete the lesson project.” 



Karona showed us one of his creations: 

“For example, this painting took me two weeks to complete. The first week, I had to research, take pictures and learn about its concepts of it. The second week, I started to draw it. Compared to my other works, I can say this is the fastest work that I have done,” said Karona.


Rong L’kon market 



Karona says he is grateful for having the chance to learn many different artistic styles in his classes, even if he is still in the process of recognizing his favourite one. This is the reason why he is committed to being more creative day by day and improving his work to evolve his style and get better.  


 Before and After Karona took lessons at VAAS School


Karona has really clear ideas about his aspirations, “I dream of becoming a unique artist, whose work is displayed in well-known galleries, or even open my own gallery and provide opportunities for other artists to showcase their accomplishments.”


To keep Lokru Srey Bandaul’s legacy going, we have launched the Srey Bandaul Art Development Fund. This fund managed by its very own committee will see that the funds and donations received are used for specific purposes of Art Development and upholding the right to create.  

Fundable​ activities may include: 
1. Bringing art classes out of Phare to children in impoverished communities. 
2.Providing opportunities to budding artists through scholarships and grants. 
3.Organizing art residencies for local and international artists to encourage deeper dialogue and broaden artists’ horizons. 
4.Developing projects around everybody’s right to create. 
5.Developing the “Phare in the City” program to make arts accessible to the general population through festivals, forums and exhibitions. 

If you are interested in learning visual arts, graphic design or animation at the Visual & Applied Arts School, please visit our website here.