Coming from Preah Vihear province, Seun Oun learned various skills after going to live in Siem Reap province. Although he is deaf, his disability isn’t a big barrier to his pursuing and learning those skills.
In early 2015, Mr Oun left the Krousa Thmey organisation to work at the Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Centre as he is passionate about the arts. He first started by drawing and painting, but built up another skill, pottery.
Nhoeb Panha translation from sing language for Mr Oun, who said, “I lived with the Krousa Thmey organisation for six years. The reason that I moved from Preah Vihear province to live there is because my mum asked a woman named Theary. I moved there in 2004.”
Mr Oun recalled that when he first moved to Siem Reap and stayed with Krousa Thmey organisation, he really missed his family. However, he was happier because he could get enough food to eat.
“I reached only Grade 5. And the reason that I quit school is because I could not continue with the criticism and discrimination from people surrounding me. However, things changed completely when I lived at Krousa Thmey. I got inspired and motivated by lots of people, especially the teachers there,” Mr Oun said.
Mentioning on his disability, Mr Oun said he no longer felt bad about living in society because he understands now that he is not the only one with a disability.
“I saw people at Krousa Thmey with no hands, no legs, and some were blind. Therefore, when I looked at myself, I thought my problems were not big and I didn’t need to be ashamed. I still can do many great things, and I am always inspired by my colleagues,” Mr Oun added.
Although he can’t hear, Mr Oun said he still communicates with other people well. He studied sign language for six years. Smartphones also help him to communicate with people, especially young people, easier.
“Nowadays, I am happy that I could survive using the skills I have. Not only that, I can spend some money to support my family as well. It makes me proud. I want people to see their inner strength, not see their disability,” Mr Oun said.
In the future, he wants to have his own place to practice his drawing and painting skills. Although he didn’t attend a professional training school, he has confidence in his talent. He can also make tables and cupboards.
Mr Oun works as a teacher of painting and pottery at Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Centre in Siem Reap province. Some of his art works featuring teddy bears were exhibited at Victor Ang’s exhibition recently.