Mong Yen

Mong Yen

 

Mong Yen

Mong Yen’s love of nature dates back to a very happy childhood in his native Cambodia. Very active and curious, he spent countless hours exploring the woods at the back door of his family home outside Phnom Penh. At that time he also discovered the fun of drawing cartoon figures and landscapes. He was fifteen when the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia 1975 forced the Yen family to flee the country.

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Mong Yen

Dorothy was probably one of the only students in her elementary school that would spend time in the summer holidays leaving the bustling City of Vancouver every weekend by boat. Her family had an

Mong Yen’s love of nature dates back to a very happy childhood in his native Cambodia. Very active and curious, he spent countless hours exploring the woods at the back door of his family home outside Phnom Penh. At that time he also discovered the fun of drawing cartoon figures and landscapes. He was fifteen when the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia 1975 forced the Yen family to flee the country.

For the next several years this refugee family underwent considerable hardship and deprivation. Nevertheless, his parents managed to send Mong to an art school for youth while they were living in Vietnam. Here he learned the basic skills of charcoal drawing and oil painting.

In 1980 Mong and his brother once again became refugees. Their parents sent them on board a fishing boat, and the boys ended up on shore of Thailand. After a few months’ stay in a refugee camp in Thailand, Mong and his brother were accepted by the Canadian government, and they flew to Toronto.

After years of learning the new language and adjusting to the life in Canada, Mong attended the University of Ottawa, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation he started working as an engineer, although he never detached himself from his love of nature. He sketched and painted in every possible opportunity in his spare time.

He moved to British Columbia in 1992. After working as a roof-truss designer in the Vancouver area for six years, he decided to leave the engineering career behind. Since then he has spent most of his time with his children as well as sketching outdoors and painting at home.

Mong likes to choose his subject matter from the natural environment through which he is reminded of his childhood. He sketches in pencil and does studies in watercolour. He then creates a painting in more detail based on these sketches and studies.

Mong has had a number of solo and group exhibitions in Canada and in the U.S. His paintings are in private collections in Canada, U.S. and Japan. Mong lives with his wife and two sons in Coquitlam, B.C.