Renowned artist promotes wildlife conservation through Zen paintings

18 Mar 2019  854 | Cambodia Events & Sports

A contemporary artist for more than a decade, the renowned Chhan Dina has just opened her latest exhibition called Flying Higher together with some of her students at the Plantation Urban Resort & Spa in Phnom Penh.

Unlike her previous work – which is best characterised as contemporary art full of bold colours and abstract shapes – Flying Higher consists of 12 paintings exuding a Zen ambiance into the gallery.

Two pieces of Dina’s artwork have already been shown and highly praised at the Kunming Art Biennale in China, and now she has challenged herself to incorporate traditional Chinese materials and techniques into her latest work.

In her most recent pieces, the 35-year-old artist has used Chinese ink to make monochrome images of birds – flying, twitching, hiding and fluttering – in different shades of a single colour.

“It’s the first time I’ve used this Chinese ink technique in my paintings. Birds were my subject as I want to raise awareness about their conservation in our country,” Dina told The Post, prior to the exhibition’s opening day on Saturday.

Alongside Dina’s 12 paintings are some 20 colourful works by her students, whom she teaches at orphanages as well as the International School of Phnom Penh.

“Use your own imagination! Be confident! You don’t have to become an artist, but you learn much about yourself and the world by trying,” Dina says she has always reminded her students, adding that it has been a long-held ambition of hers to showcase her work alongside her students.

Known for her abstract, colourful paintings and sculptures, Dina’s work often tackles the themes of gender, women’s empowerment, landmines, health and wildlife conservation.

Born in 1984 in Phnom Penh, Dina grew up with three brothers and two sisters. Seeing the heavy burden that many women have carried since a young age, through her work Dina has aspired to honour all hard working Cambodian women.

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