Ex-gang member turned sculptor on a mission to elevate the human spirit

Vanny Channal is the son of Cambodian refugees who fled the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge only to land in gang-infested Southern California. Channal joined a gang at age 14 and after more than a decade, he left that life behind and came to Philadelphia to build a normal life. He now makes intricate sculptures, using only discarded metals, the items that society tossed aside as worthless. Each piece of art is a commentary on how Channal says he felt as a teenager and young adult.

You can see Vanny Channal's work on Instagram @steel_n_pacific

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