Relief came in 2015 when he was recruited into a non-profit group’s training program — teaching him contemporary dance, drawing, computer skills, and even English.
Working with Open Studio Cambodia in 2018 seemed a natural move, as it fueled his drive to use art to persuade the public to see the disabled as capable people.
“Some people who looked down on me in the past have become friendly again,” says Chear, adding that his artwork has been displayed in the US and France.
But now, with billions worldwide forced to remain home due to the coronavirus pandemic, he is reminded of the social isolation he endured right after he lost his arms.
“I hope we will overcome it,” he tells AFP from his home in Kampot province, returning after the workshop was temporarily closed.
“If I can’t make art, I don’t know what I can do.”