A visionary cultural entrepreneur, Phloeun has spearheaded Cambodian Living Arts’ transformation from a grassroots project reviving traditional art forms to a leading cultural organization in Cambodia and the Mekong region. Phloeun joined CLA in 2009 having previously led Artisans Angkor, a Cambodian social enterprise that provides professional skills and opportunities to young Cambodians in rural communities with limited educational opportunities.
Under Phloeun’s leadership, CLA has extended its reach from local to international audiences; expanded its community from the old generation of masters to a new generation of emerging artists and cultural leaders; and evolved its mission from preserving and transmitting endangered art forms to serving as a catalyst in Cambodia’s vibrant arts sector, focusing on innovation and expression.
Phloeun regularly presents and participates in global dialogues and international forums on arts and development. Since 2017, Phloeun has taught a curriculum on “Arts for Transformation: The Case of Cambodia” to international students at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). From 2019, the course has been taught at Pannasastra University Cambodia and the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) in Phnom Penh.
Born during the Cambodian genocide and raised in Montréal, Canada, Phloeun is proud to have returned to Cambodia to be part of the movement to use the arts for healing, social transformation, and economic development. He is passionate about supporting the next generation of leaders in Cambodia’s arts sector, and remains inspired by the early work of CLA to revive the oral transmission of traditional art forms. It is that passing from generation to generation—that human connection to culture—that gives roots to curiosity about identity, and Phloeun sees the arts, expression, and imagination as essential to being human.