Hi. My name is Deborah Samia. I moved back to Oakland from South Bay with my husband, Revy, and we started attending FCC around 2014. As a sculptor, I teach art classes at a university in San Francisco and assist other artists creating public monuments. In my free time, I create personal artwork, watch a lot of Netflix, and hike with our dog. Though I began following Jesus as a teenager, more recently I’ve been invigorated to further God’s kingdom here on earth through my relationships and my artwork.
As an artist, I hope that what I create can carry some of God's truth and beauty. I always have been drawn to figurative artwork, that is, artwork that features the beauty of the human anatomy and even the emotions or expressions in a portrait. The human form is beautiful...God created us and declared it to be "Good". I was happy with my artwork to celebrate the beauty there. And yet, more recently, I've been challenging myself to explore more themes of truth: how there is a redemption waiting for what has been broken.
In "The Cambodian Shepherd", I'm telling a story of Cambodia's past and how God is healing the land and its people. In the distance, prisoners of war from the 1970's are being guarded by a solider of the Khmer Rouge. These captives are planting the rice in the killing fields. In the foreground, a modern day farmer and herder has found peace with the land and its past. The rice stalks are surrounding him ready to harvest and the cows are eager to follow their master. The background is painted red because the memories of the Khmer Rouge is a part of the story, but God is healing these people and there is redemption...a golden and softer glow of light is laid over it.