Youth of the week: Ouk Sochivy

Youth of the week: Ouk Sochivy

Our student of the week will receive a $50 voucher from Boston Books. If you want to nominate a student or friend, email us at [email protected]


While some youth might think they need to choose between a creative or business-minded career path, Ouk Sochivy has opted for both, as the senior in accounting at Asia Europe University has also honed her artistic skills to become a highly successful painter.

Ouk Sochivy’s grandfather, Svay Ken, was one of Cambodia’s most famous artists from decades past, and he was her sole inspiration when she began her artistic endeavours.

“I wanted to please him before he died because I was the only person in my family with his ability,” she said.

Despite being pressed for time, the 25-year-old has not only continued to paint, her work has gained critical acclaim around the world.

Although her grandfather may have provided the artist’s genes and inspiration for Ouk Sochivy, their work covers two time periods separated by many years and changes to the Kingdom, and her work conveys a very different message than that of her artistic ancestor.

As a product of Phnom Penh, her paintings focus on modernisation and the lifestyles that have originated from rapid change; a vastly different subject from the traditional scenes rendered by her grandfather.

Soon after her grandfather passed away in 2008, Ouk Sochivy found a sponsor in art promoter Erin Glesson and her artistic career began to blossom. The three paintings of hip-hop styles that she exhibited in Hong Kong were bought almost immediately. Another show in France, which included five paintings depicting beach clothes and other fashions popular among teenagers received a similarly warm reception and, once again, she left the show having sold all of the work she displayed.

If you want to see her work, a series of paintings depicting “freshies” is currently being shown at the Sasa Gallery (sasaart.info), located in The Building on Sothearos Boulevard., but hurry because the exhibition ends this month.

“I hope I will be able to build a reputation like my grandfather,” she said. Looking at her success so far, she should reach that goal soon.

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