Ouk Sochivy carries on her grandfather's artistic legacy

Ouk Sochivy carries on her grandfather's artistic legacy

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090507_17b.jpg

One of Ouk Sochivy's paintings. PHOTO SUPPLIED

OPENING today at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre, "To Be Continued" is 25-year old Ouk Sochivy's first solo exhibition. It also marks the continuation of "Mode Svay Ken", the unique style of her celebrated late grandfather, who chose Ouk Sochivy to carry on the family tradition.

The name of the exhibition implies both the legacy of the young artist as well as her future.

"The title of the exhibition means I am the one who continues my grandfather's work," Ouk Sochivy said.

Yet it also marks the beginning of her journey as an independent artist.

"When I first started to paint, I thought that I could not become a famous painter like my grandfather, but I will try my best," she said, adding that she has received a lot of encouragement from foreigners after her grandfather passed away in December last year.

"I think my grandfather would be very proud and happy if he knew that my paintings are being exhibited," she added.

Ouk Sochivy had no intention of becoming an artist until halfway through last year.

"One day when I was looking after my grandfather, I felt bored; so I took some paper to paint a picture. I showed it to my grandfather and he told me that it was a good painting, and then he asked me to paint it on canvas," she said.

From then on, Svay Ken, who sensed he might not last the year, began instructing his granddaughter in his particular style of painting.

"He explained to me how to start to draw, how we first have to draw the face, then the eyes and the nose .... He also taught me how to mix the colours of paints," Ouk Sochivy said.

While Ouk Sochivy's paintings follow the style of her mentor, some of the subjects are new. The characters in Pop Star Style and Hip Hop Style refer directly to contemporary youth culture.

"My paintings are different from my grandfather's paintings. I like to paint hip-hop or popular pictures and what I see as the real situation in society, while my grandfather liked to paint traditional paintings," she said.

Nevertheless, Ouk Sochivy is resolute to stay true to her grandfather - and remain entirely self-taught.

"I will not go to study or get more training at an art school because my grandfather told me ... that if I learn with someone else, my painting will be different from his style. He wanted me to copy his style both by using similar colours and style of painting," she said.

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