This month, we tell the story of visual artist Eng Daneth, former Fellow of CLA under our Artist Residency programme.
Daneth is a visual artist and design graduate. She works as a jewellery designer for Saut Meas shop, and as a computer instructor at the school run by Empowering Youth Cambodia inside the White Building.
She became a Fellow of CLA in 2015, securing a residency at the Vermont Studio Centre in the USA, while she was a student of non-profit arts organisation Sa Sa Art Projects.
Daneth works primarily in sculpture, film and installation, dealing with themes of the present and future. At the moment, she is researching the development of Cambodia, and questioning whether current development projects actually deliver transparency and equality to the people they are supposed to serve.
She believes that her work sends a crucial message about what is happening in society, particularly with regard to urban development. She hopes those who see her work will be inspired to look deeper, question what they have been told, and find out more about contemporary issues in Cambodia.
Daneth told us that research can be a challenge. “Every time I went to the community to collect some information, it seemed to me that they did not understand what I was doing,” she says. “Sometimes they did not talk much because they did not know where I was from.”
Fortunately, she has had the opportunity to speak with more experienced artists about how to get people involved during her weekend drawing class at Sa Sa Art Projects. Daneth hopes in the near future she can share what she has learned with the next generation of artists.
Her ideas and her passions were shaped by her residency in the USA, where she saw many young artists expressing themselves and their thinking through their work.
She hopes more young people will start to do this, and engage more with social issues through arts and creativity.
She adds: “They should start to read more, listen to the news, follow up with social issues, and apply their critical thinking to a problem.”
She hopes her work will inspire people to come together to solve the social problems she is passionate about.
You can see Daneth’s work at facebook.com/sasaartprojects/photos.
Find out more about Sa Sa Art Projects at sasaart.info.
To learn more about Cambodian Living Arts, find CLA on Facebook, @CamboLivingArts on Twitter, CambodianLivingArts on Instagram, or visit cambodianlivingarts.org.