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Our team


Tomoko Kasahara


With a Master’s Degree in Art from Tokyo Educational University, she started her career in 1976, as an art teacher at a public high school in Tokyo. She had been an art teacher in Japan for about 31 years. It was her dream to put up ”Small Art School”. Upon looking for a location, she visited India, Nepal, and finally decided to build the school in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2007. She started teaching art in Cambodia at an orphanage center and also taught the neighborhood children. In ”Small Art School”, she provides all art supplies and education for free. To follow her dream to provide free art education to underprivileged children, she and her team decided to create the ”Khmer Kids Art Gallery” to help raise funds for ”Small Art School”.


Hea Chheav


Hea is from a large family in Beng Melia, a town popular for its temple ruins, in the province of Siem Reap. He was raised at the temples until he was 6 years old. While living at the temple, he heard about and orphanage where Japanese lessons were given. At the age of 12, he approached the orphanage director personally to ask if he could live and study there and he was accepted. He worked hard to learn Japanese and later, in 2008, won first prize at a Japanese speech contest in Phnom Penh. Tomoko, the founder of the Small Art School hired Hea to work as the main interpreter. He went on to graduate with a business degree from the Build Bright University. While working with the Small Art School he has also developed a passion for the visual arts. View his work here: Hea_Art. > If you want to know more about Hea’s story and inspiration, you can read more about him here : Hea’s profile.


Yuko Sakata


From Chiba, in Japan, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.  After graduating, she became part of the social service sector for South East Asian refugees and immigrants, and was in charge of the inter-generational programs there. Yuko’s experience there enabled her to really learn about South East Asian culture. In Nov 2009, she then decided to move to Siem Reap, and her interest in the arts connected her with art teacher Tomoko Kasahara one fateful day. This meeting has paved way to her becoming the art coordinator of Small Art School. Currently, she is handling the public relations, marketing, and sales of the Small Art School and Khmer Kids Art Gallery.


Kunthea Lim


Kunthea is a 26-year-old talented Khmer artist from Siem Reap who currently serves as gallery technician and assistant art teacher for the Small Art School. He aspires to become a successful artist and pass on the knowledge and skills he has developed throughout his time as a student at the Small Art School. His interests include drawing, sports and research. Kunthea’s dream is pass on his love for the visual arts to underprivileged Cambodian children through education. View his artworks here: Kunthea-Art.



Hay Chhoem


Hay was born in 1992 and is now 25 years old. He is a student at Bright Future University in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He started learning at the Small Art school since he was a high school student. He won some international art awards in Japan, the US and Cambodia. He is also interested in Khmer martial arts. View some of his work here: haykhmerartist.

Sokpheak Doung


Sokpheak was born in 1993 and is now 24 years old. She is taking an English lesson at Pannasastra University in Siem Reap, Cambodia. She won international art awards in Japan. She is also interested in Khmer martial arts. View some of her work here: Sokpheak-Art.


Sophea Doung


Sophea was born in Siem Reap in 1992 and has 5 siblings. At 23 years old, she’s currently studying at South East Asia University, majoring in law. She also studies English at Future Bright International School, with the support of Small Art School. Her hobbies include drawing and reading books (especially history books). Last 2010, she started coming to Small Art School with her sister and friends. Since then, she has nourished her love for art and has developed her drawing skills. She loves drawing flowers. In the future, she wants to be a designer. View his artworks here: Sophea-Art.

Bandeth Em


Bandeth is a 26 year-old artist, teacher and aspiring scientist. He has been working with the Small Art School (SAS) for two and a half years. He is an enthusiastic leader who hopes to merge his passion for the visual arts and his growing interest in science. With support from the Japanese teachers at the SAS, he currently studies electrical engineering at Build Bright University in Siem Reap. He is currently an assistant art teacher at the SAS and works at the Khmer Kids Art Gallery. Aside from being an aspiring artist and scientist, Bandeth is also a good basketball player. His current goal is to utilize his exceptional interpersonal skills in an artistic, educational setting while incorporating his love of science into his own work. View his artworks here: Bandeth-Art.