The moving portraits of Theanly Chov are superimposed on shadows and hopes. The « Survive » serie is an emotion. The figures are solitary silhouettes, dash forward, in a plain and colorful background. All have the same posture. They are concentrated, under tension, ready to face. In the center of each painting is a full-length portrait of a teenager, an old man or a young man. Each character is snapped up by a skyline, a metaphor for water, placed just below his nose. At all costs, he must keep his nostrils above this line to survive and breathe, without drowning, without sinking.
Through his works, the artist represents precisely the vital struggle that guides the Cambodian society, poor but also eaten away by inequalities and corruption. Each of his models keeps an admirable serenity, remaining impassive. As if he had no choice but to look to the future, in a country still traumatized by the Khmer Rouge dictatorship (1975-1979) and his two million deaths. Theanly Chov is part of the new generation of contemporary Cambodian artists, hatching after years of terror. His vision of art is more universal than political, and the artist wants to talk to everyone. Without artifice, his paintings sketch the portrait of his friends, or ordinary people he meets in the street, in their everyday outfits.