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Kou Dalin has known since she was a child that she wanted to be a famous painter, and at the age of 20 she is well on her way to becoming one of Cambodia’s finest artists. The freshman at the Royal University of Fine Arts has already exhibited her work overseas and you can see a series of drawings called “My Dreams of Justice”, which explore her feelings about the Duch trial at the Bophana Audio Visual Resource Centre in Phnom Penh.
Kou Dalin’s first success as an artist came in 2007 when she won Cambodia’s cultural painting competition. She was given the opportunity to travel to Singapore to share her work with artists and art patrons from all over Asia. In 2008, she entered a competition at the University of Cambodia and was awarded the gold medal for her paintings focusing on violence and human trafficking.
While her achivements are extraordinary for such a young artist, there is no secret to Kou Dalin’s success. “I have devoted most of my time in the past few years making art,”she said. “No perseverance, no success.” She added that she had also relied on the emotional and financial success of her family and friends as she had developed her skills as an artist.
“I am delighted with her,” said Kou Dalin’s mother Ou Sakhorn. “She has always worked hard to help improve our families living condition.”
Kau Dalin’s friends are equally impressed by the young artist. “She used to tell me that she wated to be a famous artist and now she has achieved that,” said Eung Saradeth, a long-time friend.
In the future Kou Dalin plans on going to France to show her sketches and paintings as well as improving her skills.
“Painting and architecture are my dream jobs,” she said. “I want to preserve my culture and make Khmer art famous around the world.”