Aung San Suu Kyi Sculpture
The sculpture of Aung San Suu Kyi is on display
at the Suvannabhumi Art Gallery. (Photo by Jim McNalis)
By Kim Vierra
I have just arrived back in Southeast Asia for my annual immersion in the
cultures once collectively known as Indochina. The main event of this trip
will be the presentation of the original of my Aung San Suu Kyi sculpture to
Ironically, as I left the United States for Bangkok, Daw Suu Kyi was
arriving in the United States to begin a 3 week journey through America.
In “Nobility of the Human Spirit” I explained how I accidentally stumbled
into a refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border in 1989, how I became focused
on the tragedy that was occurring in Burma, the plight of the Burmese people
and their leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The energy from this experience and my
eventual and repeated trips into Burma was channeled into the creation of my
sculpture of Aung San Suu Kyi. I was also inspired to mix Burmese soil into
the clay used for this sculpture.
Once completed, the sculpture took on a life of its own by constantly
attracting the attention of media reps, clients and people in general who
wanted to know who this person was. This allowed me to tell so many about
Suu Kyi and the horrific events in a country dominated by a brutal military
dictatorship. An initial copy of the sculpture was delivered to Daw Suu
Kyi’s family in England and another copy is on display at the headquarters
of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma in Washington,
The sculpture was to become Daw Suu Kyi’s surrogate. Over the years the
sculpture has stood in For Daw Suu at events celebrating her many awards,
her birthdays and at festivals where she was the honorary chairman (e.g.
Brighton England Arts Festival).
The sculpture of Aung San Suu Kyi is one of my most successful works and
certainly my most famous sculpture. My dream over the years was to one day
present the sculpture to Daw Suu. But as time passed into decades of
repression and sustained detention, such a presentation grew increasingly
unlikely. Many followers of my work made bids to purchase the sculpture and
as time passed, the amount of these offers steadily increased. I have always
been able to fend off these potential buyers by declaring that I could not
sell the piece since it did not belong to me. It has always belonged to Aung
San Suu Kyi.
My dear friend Mar Mar (aka Violet) will place the sculpture on display in
her Suvannabhumi Burmese Art Gallery until I hear for Aung San Suu Kyi
giving the go ahead to bring the sculpture to her in Rangoon.
If this all takes place, the sculpture will have come full circle and I will
truly be returning native soil to Burma.
International musician collaborates with Chiang Mai students
created by Blu and the students was performed at Sangdee Gallery as part of
BLUIFESTO and will form part of the repertoire of Blu’s tour through
Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of PTIS)
Students from PTIS recently had the
opportunity to work with critically acclaimed international sound artist Blu
Simon Wasem. The Brazilian musician performed several concerts in Chiang Mai
before commencing his week-long residency at Prem. As part of the Prem’s
ongoing commitment to developing, using and celebrating the arts within
education, the school and the Traidhos Three-Generation Community has
created a partnership with the UK arts organisation Surface Arts. Blu was
the first international artist to be based at Prem.
A multi-media artist who dedicated himself to improvisation and experimental
music, Blu is by origin a bass and percussion player, whose ability is
augmented by skills in violin, flute and hand-made electronics. Using his
travels as inspiration, he is focusing on South-East Asia where he is using
his experiences with communities and delivering workshops as a foundation to
unite acoustics with electronics in an unusual way.
Alex Soulsby, Traidhos Three-Generation’s Arts Projects Manager said of the
project, “Educational success in young people relies on their school
experiences being both bold and exciting. Here at Prem we understand the
value of ideas, the importance of creativity and how working directly with
artists, help to empower students with a sense of their own possibility.”
The Colorful Melody of Nature
Suriya Deva by Pratuang Emjaroen, on display at
Gallery 116 until the end of November.
By Jai Pee
The recently opened exhibition by local and national artists in Gallery 116
is a compelling and interesting collection of water colours. Many of the
exhibits are fresh and clear – giving an evocative and expressive view of
the beauty and splendour of the natural environment. Many of the paintings
are very traditional. Others adopt a quite different style. For example, the
impressionist exhibit entitled ‘Himping’ by artist Wichit Chomtaveewiroot
contains a wonderful blend of dusky hues in blues and greens – this river
scene takes on an almost enchanted significance. In more upbeat and modern
style, ‘Wimit’ by artist Nukool Panyadee employs an exciting use of imagery
in its view of boats and waterside buildings. In more traditional style, yet
with elegance and a mature touch, local Doi Saket resident artist Engorn
Homsuwwan portrays the colouful splendour of the Keukenhof botanical gardens
in central Holland amidst her other floral exhibits.
More paintings, always tastefully and carefully displayed contain many
scenes of trees, rivers, flowers, birds and other animals in pleasant rural
settings. All of these exhibits are carefully composed and structured and
show a well-balanced use of colour. However, standing out as quite
different, and in no way depicting nature as such, are two abstract
paintings by artist Pratuang Emjaroen entitled Suriya Deva. Placed
strategically at almost opposite ends of the gallery, these large and
enticing canvasses, water colour and Chinese ink, are immediately appealing
and grab the attention. Broad circular bands of varying colours with a black
prominence make these paintings quite unique in the collection as they form
a sharp contrast with the remaining exhibits.
The exhibition is open until the end of November – the Gallery 116 is
located on Charoen Muang Road just 300 metres from the Nawarat bridge.
Office hours are from 10.00 until 18.00 Tuesday until Sunday. Artist Adisorn
Pornsirikan will be holding workshops on October 19th and 20th and
registration is now open: phone 053 302 111.
A matter of black and white
The art exhibition entitled “A matter of black and white” by Chanya
Sottip opened at Sangdee Gallery on Friday, October 12 and will hang until
the end of October. Chanya normally paints in bright, vibrant colors with
vivid paintings but pointed out the subtitle of her exhibit was “Do the
things you do not want to do” which is, she said with a laugh, painting in
black and white for her. She said it was a difficult exercise and one that
forced her to stretch her imagination but she felt it allowed her to greatly
expand her knowledge and gave her better ideas and skills for her vibrantly
colorful paintings. Sangdee Gallery is on Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 and open