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Remembering Haiyan through art

Update: April, 19/2014 - 12:00

It was not long ago that Typhoon Haiyan struck parts of south-east Asia.

Now, artists have come together to show their work to remember the victims of the typhoon.

The messages given out through their artwork are not only about the damage and horror caused by the typhoon. They are also about the strength in people and communities to survive such awful events.

A good cause: Visitors examine paintings and installations at the on-going Sau Con Bao, or After the Storm, exhibition that pays tribute to the victims of deadly Haiyan typhoon in the Philippines.
A good cause: Visitors examine paintings and installations at the on-going Sau Con Bao, or After the Storm, exhibition that pays tribute to the victims of deadly Haiyan typhoon in the Philippines. - VNS Photo Khanh Chi

HA NOI (VNS) — Twenty six artists from Viet Nam, Malaysia and the Philippines are joining in a painting exhibition, to share their sympathies and compassion for the victims of the historic typhoon Haiyan.

Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia last November, particularly the Philippines, as it became the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, claiming more than 6,250 lives.

Sau Con Bao, or After the Storm, is being co-organised by Asia Art Link and Ha Noi University of Culture and features 24 large-size paintings and three installations made of steel, paper bags and cartons.

"The art collection depicts images of recovery, resilience and strength of spirit, and, most importantly, of hope, friendship and humanity," said the Philippine ambassador to Viet Nam, Jerril G. Santos.

"Many people from all walks of life have shown their concern for the Philippines by joining the humanitarian effort through sharing their resources with the affected victims. Expressions of sympathy, donations and other offers of assistance... brought immense comfort and solace to many victims of this tragedy," he said.

Asia Art Link has organised five displays in Viet Nam, since it was established in 2005, showcasing art works by regional artists. But this is the first exhibition that conveys a clear message that focuses more on humanity, said young artist Pham Huy Thong.

"My exhibit, Farm of Hope, belongs to the HOPE series. It displays two contrary factors: the peaceful clouds against the stormy weather," said Thong, explaining his drawing of a farmer and his buffalo ploughing a white cloudy field against the background of a grey sky.

"It not only presents the Haiyan victims' hope for a better future, but the hope of farmers who represent the poor in any nation for a better life," added the artist.

Thong also has his work, entitled The Last Leaf, displayed at an on-going exhibition in the Philippines, at which exhibits will be sold and all proceeds donated to an energy supply project for the victims.

Similar to the idea of Thong, Noel Pama from the Philippines would like to showcase symbols of the future through his oil-on-canvas, Chasing the Dreams, depicting children flying high on paper-folded airplanes.

"Children are the future of a nation. I use symbols and graphics, like transmitter graphics on a boy's head, which means children often absorb everything around them, even though it is good or bad, as they are flying to success," said Pama.

As the name of the exhibition says, the majority of works tell the story of strength and recovery, while some portray the stormy devastation in order to remind people of what happened.

"[Vietnamese artist Pham Tuan] Tu's painting It Went Through struck my eyes as it vividly illustrates the heart-rendering and deadly destruction of the disaster. Haiyan was gone, leaving behind deadly dolls sprawling in a place similar to a cemetery. It's scary to look at, but it's true," said a visitor, Tran Tuan Long, eyes looking at the painting framed by black and white, silk ribbons and flowers.

"I'm also impressed with the oil-on-canvas Vines by Norman Dreo. I like the graphics and the message that it conveys, that the inferno is gone and life has returned and will continue. New sprouts are rising, fish are swimming, birds singing, fisherman set sail for a new voyage and family reunion," Long said.

The display runs until Thursday at the Viet Nam Museum of Fine Arts, 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ha Noi. — VNS

GLOSSARY

Twenty six artists from Viet Nam, Malaysia and the Philippines are joining in a painting exhibition, to share their sympathies and compassion for the victims of the historic typhoon Haiyan.

Sympathies are feelings of pity for someone else's loss or bad luck.

Compassion is a feeling of concern for somebody over their loss or bad luck.

Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia last November, particularly the Philippines, as it became the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, claiming more than 6,250 lives.

Devastated means ruined.

Sau Con Bao, or After the Storm, is being co-organised by Asia Art Link and Ha Noi University of Culture and features 24 large-size paintings and three installations made of steel, paper bags and cartons.

When two or more organisations, or people, organise something together, they co-organise it.

An installation is a structure that has been put up.

Cartons are cardboard boxes.

"The art collection depicts images of recovery, resilience and strength of spirit, and, most importantly, of hope, friendship and humanity," said the Philippine ambassador to Viet Nam, Jerril G. Santos.

To depict something means to represent it in artwork.

"Many people from all walks of life have shown their concern for the Philippines by joining the humanitarian effort through sharing their resources with the affected victims."

A humanitarian effort is one that is promoting the welfare of people.

Asia Art Link has organised five displays in Viet Nam, since it was established in 2005, showcasing art works by regional artists.

Showcasing means displaying.

"It displays two contrary factors: the peaceful clouds against the stormy weather," said Thong, explaining his drawing of a farmer and his buffalo ploughing a white cloudy field against the background of a grey sky.

Two contrary factors are two things that are almost the opposite to one another.

"[Vietnamese artist Pham Tuan] Tu's painting It Went Through struck my eyes as it vividly illustrates the heart-rendering and deadly destruction of the disaster."

Vividly means "in a lively way".

Something that is heart-rendering causing great sadness.

"I'm also impressed with the oil-on-canvas Vines by Norman Dreo. I like the graphics and the message that it conveys, that the inferno is gone and life has returned and will continue.

An inferno is a huge fire.

New sprouts are rising, fish are swimming, birds singing, fisherman set sail for a new voyage and family reunion," Long said.

Sprouts are very young plants at the early stage of growing.

A family reunion is a family get together after members of the family have not seen one another for some time.

WORKSHEET:

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.       Pham Tuan is an artist from the Philippines.

2.      Sau Con Bao means After the Storm.

3.      The organisation Asia Art Link has been going for around nine years.

4.      Artist Noel Pama comes from a country that was particularly hard hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

5.      Haiyan was not impressed with the oil-on-canvas Vines by Norman Dreo.

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2014



























 1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

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