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VN artists join art festival in Yokohama

Update: August, 12/2014 - 08:26
Behind the wheel: A girl controls a remote controlled car-formed drawing device in artist Uu Dam's License 2 Draw project at Koganecho Bazaar in Yokohama, Japan. — Courtesy Photo of Uu Dam

HA NOI  (VNS) — Three Vietnamese artists are joining nearly 40 others from all over the world at Japan's annual Koganecho Bazaar art festival in Yokohama City.

The event, which lasts until early November, features various types of art projects from performances to community intervention and technology-based works. They are shown in various spaces in the city, including studios under a railway bridge, small buildings, existing shops and empty lots.

Artist Uu Dam Tran Nguyen has contributed License 2 Draw, an interactive painting project where a robotic car controlled by internet users draws lines on a canvas.

"The painting can be drawn by anyone interested from all over the world," Dam told Vie Nam News. "I placed a white canvas at the exhibition. Anyone wanting to draw on it can download the License 2 Draw app on their iPhones, iPads or Android phones and control the car to create lines on the canvas as they wish."

During the three-month festival, Dam intends to invite artists from areas with conflicts like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Israel to join a special drawing session with artists from the rest of the world like the US, Japan, China, Viet Nam and the Philippines.

"People have used remote-control techniques to destroy enemies in wars," he said, "But here, in my project, people use the same technique to create art."

Phan Minh Tuan (known as Ben Liar)'s installation features an upgraded sugarcane-pressing machine transported from Viet Nam. While displaying graffiti paintings, the artist presses sugarcane and serves the juice to the audience.

Truong Cong Tung has contributed a video installation and a work on canvas made by termites and titled Blind Map.

"It's a large painting made from the process of the termites eating a large roll of canvas," Tung said. "The inspiration comes from my personal experience. As a student from the countryside coming to HCM City to study and work, I always had to move from one place to another to get cheap rent. Most of the places I lived had termites."

To make Blind Map, Tung put a black canvas roll into a corner of his rented apartment.

"After one year, the termites ate the entire canvas roll and accidentally created sophisticated patterns that were as delicate as lace but also represented traces, like a path or a map," he said.

The exhibition aims to situate Yokohama as a cultural hub in Asia. An international symposium on contemporary art, history and current issues in Asia will gather curators from Viet Nam, Thailand, Taiwan, Chinese mainland, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Nguyen Nhu Huy, curator of Zero Station gallery in HCM City, will contribute a speech at the symposium. The event also includes a theatre programme and local food events. — VNS

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