Power supply will meet the anticipated surge in demand during the dry season this year, said Dang Huy Cuong, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam.
- Artists create variations on ‘moving’ theme
The exhibition was initiated by the Vietnam Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibitions under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to celebrate the 45th anniversary of ASEAN and promote exchanges among artists in the bloc's member countries. It is the first time such an exhibition has been organized and implemented by the Vietnamese government and, hopefully, it will become an annual event, possibly even travelling among the participating countries to provide more exposure for ASEAN artists and the graphic arts.
Mounting this type of international exhibition is a daunting task, even for countries with decades of experience, and Vietnam has done an admirable job for its first attempt. One of the main intentions behind the event was to gain experience in hosting international exhibitions, and the success of this project bodes well for more in the future.
The competition was open to graphic artworks created in the last five years by artists who are citizens of ASEAN countries. Graphic works, predominantly fine prints, were chosen as the focus for this first international competition and exhibition because such works tend to be generally realistic and readily accessible to the public, and easier to display and send internationally than many other art forms.
The general theme of the exhibition is the daily lives, cultures, traditions and aspirations of people in ASEAN member countries. While this may seem a bit tame, it goes along with one of the project's overall aims to promote cultural exchange and understanding within the bloc. Other themes could be explored in future competitions, but for a first attempt, this is entirely appropriate and offers a broad scope for expression.
|The movement of nature|
While the number and combination of techniques is quite varied, there is not much experimentation beyond the traditional processes. Perhaps this is due to the general theme of the exhibition, which is not one to instantly inspire wild technical experimentation, or maybe it is simply the jury's choices. However, this is not necessarily a negative criticism. Sometimes artists can get carried away experimenting, to the detriment of conveying their ideas. It is refreshing to see ideas expressed using familiar, (deceptively) simple traditional techniques.
Most of the images are figurative or representational, but abstraction and surrealism are also represented. All of the works displayed are accessible to the general public and will also appeal to more experienced art aficionados. Another key goal of the exhibition is to promote art to a wider audience and encourage dialogue, and it has succeeded through its overall accessibility on many levels.
It is interesting to note that a young female art student from Thailand won the first prize and another top prize went to an amateur artist from Malaysia, who is also a professional fireman.
The curators presented the exhibition well, using, for the most part, light, simple frames that do not distract from the work. However, for future exhibitions of this kind, the framing should be consistent throughout.
While there is still room for improvement, especially in publicity, advertising, and the length of time the exhibition is open, the first ASEAN Graphic Art Competition and Exhibition 2012 can be considered a remarkable success. It achieved its primary goals and provided a good learning experience for future exhibitions, while offering the public an interesting, accessible and enjoyable exhibition. It is definitely an event that should be continued in the future.