Chath pierSath, born in Cambodia, is a poet, self-taught painter and humanitarian. He started to paint in 2000. His first group exhibition was in the Rhode Island Gallery, in which four of his five contributed pieces were sold. Since then, he had several solo shows in Phnom Penh, where he created large and small portraits of people from his memory, often representing the social and economic disparity among Cambodians. After another group show at the French Cultural Center’s gallery, he was invited to study at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris for one year. He has exhibited in Bangkok, Kunming, China, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut as well as in Paris.
Chath pierSath crossed the Thai-Cambodian border in 1979 at the end of the Khmer Rouge regime with members of his family to Aranyaprathet Refugee Camp. With the aid of his aunt, he, his older brother and sister emigrated to the United States in 1981 and lived first in Boulder, Colorado. He graduated from World College West/New College of California, majoring in international service and development. He has a master’s degree from UMass Lowell in Community Social Psychology.
He has three collections of poems and a children’s book, Sinat and the Instrument of the Heart. His books of poems include After, This Body Mystery, and his recent, On Earth Beneath Sky.
He returned to Cambodia in 1994 for the first time after ten years of separation from family members and his homeland to do humanitarian work as a volunteer of the Cambodian American National Development Organization (CANDO). He was assigned to assist a local human rights organization, Human Rights Vigilance of Cambodia. He also helped an array of other local NGOs working on HIV/AIDS Prevention education and child rights issues.
He currently lives and works in Central Massachusetts on a small family farm nine months of the year. He travels between Phnom Penh, Paris or Istanbul the other three months.