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Dina Chhan

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Artist 51 Dina Chhan Abstract Painting and Sculpture

A multimedia artist, Chhan predominantly portrays nature in abstraction. The themes of life, music and everyday activities have captured the artist’s imagination over the past ten years.

Dina Chhan was born in 1984 and currently she works and lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Her love of art gives her the energy and enthusiasm to teach visual art to children and teenagers in a number of orphanages and the International School Phnom Penh.

For a duration Dina lived in a refugee camp in Poipet. Huge issues still exist with unexploded ordinance and land-mines in this region along the border between Thailand and Cambodia. Her experiences in Poipet influence her artwork to this day.

She was the only female Cambodian artist to partake in the United Nations mine action program in Cambodia.

Dina plans to continue depicting dynamic and engaging works of art, capturing the energy of life in Asia. She hopes to open a workshop and gallery in Phnom Penh in the future.

As a child, Dina Chhan created sculptures out of the red clay from the ground outside her Phnom Penh home.

“This is where my love of art and creating things started,” recalls the acclaimed artist, now aged 29, surrounded by an array of vivid paintings and intricate sculptures in her small studio in the Cambodian capital.

“In Cambodia, people are very creative, but the Khmer Rouge destroyed everything,” says the artist, “Cambodia is slowly developing its art scene and it’s good to see it being encouraged.” This is where Chhan’s ambitions lie – in encouraging Cambodians to get creative and expand their imaginations. “One problem I have had is that Cambodians tend to want something realistic, like a painting of Angkor Wat or the countryside. They’re not used to abstract art.”

I find the vibrant colours and how Chhan portrays life around her intoxicating. Her brush strokes create a language and the longer you look at the canvases the more you see. Painting like this is hard to truly capture in photos as the texture and shadows of the real artwork completely change its energy.


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