Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Mekong artists float to capital

But what does it mean? Lady in Colour by Viengsay Phousana from Laos (left) is one of over 30 contemporary works by 20 artists from the Greater Mekong sub-region are display at the Viet Art Centre, Yet Kieu Street, Hanoi.


Artists from four different countries gather with an 'underlying' theme

An exhibition of 32 contemporary works by 20 artists from the Greater Mekong sub-region - Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand - has opened in Hanoi.

The exhibition, with the theme Underlying, has artworks in different genres; such as oil on canvas, mixed media, video installation, ceramic art installation, photographs and painting on polywood.

It is being held under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation and is based on an idea by four curators, Le Ngoc Thanh from Vietnam, Penwadee Nophaket Manont from Thailand, Misouda Heuangsoukhoun from Laos and Vollak Kong from Cambodia.

A Mekong Art and Culture Project, it aims to provide an understanding of the four nations through art, according to the art director, Chattiya Nitpolprasert from Thailand.

"It is hoped that through the exhibition, the artists' critical viewpoints can be found beneath the surface of their art," said Chattiya.

Dean of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art at Silpakorn University in Thailand Panya Vijinthanasarn, attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

"Art and culture are a vital tool for bringing us back to our roots and letting common humanity override the differences of development," he said.

"The works demonstrate that art and culture can be used to reconnect and create dialogue between communities in the Mekong sub-region."

A Belgian visitor, Damilia Janssen, was passionate when watching a video installation titled Unknown Women by Nguyen Quang Huy.

"The artist is so sensitive," said Damilia. "He captures ordinary mothers hard at work. Their efforts are strenuous, but it's all for their children and their families - as it is for women throughout the world."

Introducing his work, Huy said that he was honouring "women, whose names and circumstances I do not know, but whose energy and creativity I have absorbed. I give them my gratitude."

Damilia felt that the geographical proximity of the four nations was reflected in the exhibition.

The exhibition provides a message of peace and friendship. Painter Bancha Suriyaburaphakul expressed his hopes through an acrylic on canvas titled Love and Peace, while Cambodian artist Seckon Leang has two works titled The World and Peace.

"When life has no borders, the possibility of shaping life is endless," he said. "In my view, the Mekong River is not a border. Living by it, I have developed a borderless perspective that creates endless possibilities shaping my way of life."

The exhibition, which has also appeared in the home countries of the other three contributing artists, is being held at the Viet Art Centre, Yet Kieu Street, Hanoi, until Friday.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

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