Iowa resident spreads Kingdom’s history, culture through digital art

Growing up in poverty, Vincent Soun never had an opportunity to properly sharpen his talents through a formal art education.

But this has not stopped the instinctive, self-taught Cambodian artist – who now lives in Des Moines, the state capital of Iowa in the US – from developing his talents over the years, from his roots in painting to his work now in the burgeoning world of digital animation.

Born in 1987 to a poor family in Oddor Meanchey province’s Banteay Ampil district, Vincent was the oldest son of the three children.

With the Kingdom still enduring civil war in the border regions – including in Vincent’s own province – his family was forced to move frequently to escape the turmoil when he was a young boy.

Despite none of his family members having any interest in art, the young Vincent found refuge from his turbulent upbringing through his pencils, as he illustrated the escapist wonders of his imagination on paper.

“I’ve loved painting since I was 11 years old. After school I would spend most of my free time learning how to draw on my own,” Vincent tells The Post.

His dreams of pursuing art formally at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh were scuppered as his family struggled to subsist on their meagre livelihood. Instead, he earned money to support his family after a painter from a local gallery offered him a job and informal training when he saw Vincent’s potential as an artist.
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