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Dhheang Kim Chhiv knows that his ideas and skills can greatly help Cambodia. “I like making something creative, innovative and different from other people,” said the architecture student at the Royal University of Fine Arts he says, He is currently writing his thesis for a bachelor’s degree in architecture. His best subject is called workshop, a class in which he often helps his friends understand what is being taught. His work at school draws a lot of praise from his teachers and friends.
Chheang Kim Chhiv spends about five hours at school every day and another seven to eight hours studying at home, sometimes until the early morning depending on how long he can sustain his concentration. Being an architecture student, he says that his major is not the same as most academic majors. “Art is different from other subjects. We have to think a lot, be creative and innovative,” he explained. “When I am at home, I do not review the lessons like mathematics students. Instead I do research and think of new ways to create something.”
Before he came to university, Chheang Kim Chhiv suggested the idea of studying architecture to his family. He made the decision “because I used to live near artists who like painting and drawing, so I loved working in art and design”, he said. He studied painting for two years before enroling in the architecture programme.
In his free time, he loves riding motor-bikes, visiting buildings and whatever is around him.
“I look at everything around me because it can help me to generate new ideas,” he said. He also goes to the library three to four days a week to read a variety of different books.
In recent years Chheang Kim Chhiv has had an increasing number of his works, which include paintings and architectural designs, exhibited in different places around Phnom Penh.
“If you want to be a good architecture student, learning how to paint and draw is the foundation. You should spend most of the time reading books to get ideas. Try to understand the psychology of people and create something creatively. Don’t copy from other works,” he recommended.
Just studying is not enough for Chheang Kim Chhiv. He also spends time volunteering and interning, especially when he hears about activities related to his interests.