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Capturing the Cambodian Spirit: A Celebration of Art at APCC

Please join us to celebrate these accomplished artists on December 2nd from 3:00-5:00 for an artist reception with Khmer food and drinks to accompany the art and meet the artists!

In a historic first, Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) proudly presents an all-Cambodian art exhibition, featuring the compelling works of two remarkable artists, Vuttha Oum and Tony Keo (Rachana) Phuong. With a combined total of 16 original artworks, this exhibition unveils a poignant narrative shaped by the tumultuous history of Cambodia, the artists' resilience, and their subsequent artistic evolution in the United States.

APCC proudly hosts the works of these two exceptional artists until January 24, 2024. This exhibition is not only a celebration of artistic talent but also a testament to the resilience of the Cambodian spirit. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating stories told through 16 original artworks that bridge the past, present, and future.

A Journey of Resilience: Vuttha Oum's Story

Vuttha Oum's artistic journey begins in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge Communist Regime. In 1979, as a young boy, Oum escaped the war-torn country, seeking refuge in Washington State after enduring the hardships of the refugee camps in Thailand. It was there that he first discovered his passion for art, attending art school and mastering the intricacies of drawing, painting, and wood carving.

Oum's talent quickly shone through, earning him the top prize in an art painting competition in the refugee camp in 1980. During his time in the camp, he actively contributed to the community, volunteering for Save the Children. His artistic endeavors extended beyond traditional canvases, as he painted stage backgrounds for performing arts and created road signs.

Despite facing adversity, Oum's determination to support his family led him to sell his artwork. In 1981, he embarked on a new chapter, immigrating to the United States. Settling in Washington, Oum continued his education and artistic pursuits, participating in various art shows and winning accolades, including second place in a high school fine arts competition. Although he chose to focus on a career in civil engineering and technology after high school, the exhibition at APCC unveils a collection of the artworks he carefully preserved—each piece a poignant reminder of his roots and the challenges he overcame.

Today, Vuttha Oum stands not only as an artist but as a leader within the Cambodian communities in Washington State, a testament to his remarkable journey from a war-torn childhood to a position of influence and inspiration.

Bridging Cultures Through Art: Tony Keo (Rachana) Phuong's Perspective

Tony Keo (Rachana) Phuong, a graduate in Visual Communication (Graphic Design) with a degree from the University of Fine Art in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, contributes a distinctive voice to the exhibition. Having fled Cambodia before completing his university studies, Phuong brings a fusion of traditional and contemporary influences to his artworks.

Beyond the canvas, Phuong is an avid outdoorsman, finding inspiration in biking, hiking, and camping. His unique perspective is reflected in his art, which captures not only the struggle of his homeland but also the diverse experiences that have shaped him.

Join us at APCC, where the vibrant tapestry of Cambodian art awaits your discovery!

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