Nak Noy’s love art began in childhood. He remembers drawing and painting on whatever he could, regardless of whether it was traditional art supplies or the walls of his family’s farm. Failing be deterred by school bullies who labelled him a weird artist boy, he continued to engage his passion for art throughout school and by the age of sixteen had a veritable portfolio which he started to share with galleries and art curators around Cambodia with a view to starting to sell his artwork.
Eventually he found his home at Tribe Cambodia, a team he lovingly describes as his extended family. He cites his connection with Tribe as being pivotal in helping him maturing as an artist. Drawing his inspiration from nature and the women in his life, Nak Noy’s art is also heavily steeped in symbolism and fantasy and offers viewers a glimpse into his inner world. Through support from Nat and Terry, Noy gained confidence in sharing the stories told through his art to his diverse international community based both in Cambodia and around the world. He enjoys giving people an introduction to his world, a world where fantasy knows no bounds.
This newfound confidence and maturity has also manifested in the artwork itself. Early works by Nak Noy are recognisable by intricate designs covering every inch of the canvas. With guidance from Nat and Terry he has learned that less is often more and is more confident in knowing when to stop and declare a piece of work as finished.
This maturity in style has meant that Nak Noy now produces more and larger works of art thanks to his enviable work ethic. During the months of the pandemic he has regularly been producing two or three pieces per month. When asked what drives him he simply answers “passion”. When pushed to expand he shares that diving into his fantasy world to create art energises him whilst also helping him to process negative feelings he may be experiencing.
Through Tribe, Nak Noy has also received a three-year scholarship to join the Visual & Applied Arts programme at Phare Ponleu Selpak. Though he’s only at the beginning of his journey through art school, Nak Noy has already developed a love of new mediums including acrylic on canvas which he used to create his largest artwork to date, the stunning 2m x 2m “I’ve forgotten the name of it” painted for the group show Goddess at Rosewood Hotel in Phnom Penh.
Going away to Art school has also helped Noy build his confidence. Living away from his family for the first time, as well as meeting people from different walks of life has helped him to learn more about himself and also allowed him more time to lose himself in his one passion – his art.
Going forward he’s looking forward to learning more from the teaching team at Phare about different style s and mediums to allow him to experiment further and also to get critical feedback on his work.
At the time of writing Nak Noy is preparing himself for his first solo show, provisionally titled ‘My World’. His excitement at the prospect of this is contagious, the opportunity to dive deep into his amazing, fantastical world is one that begs to be taken. As with all of his art Nak Noy hopes that this show will help the audience to “enter different dimensions, a different world and experience lots of feelings”.
With future hopes of exhibiting internationally and having learned about the art scene in Europe thanks to his connection with Tribe, London and Paris are first on his list of locations.