Friday, October 18, 2013

ArtAsiaPacific 2011-2012 Lao artists year in review

ArtAsiaPacific regularly has a profile in their almanac on art trends in the region, including developments in Laos. The most recent year assessed was 2012. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have any of their older almanacs online, but it may be worth tracking them down in various libraries if you can.

There's a lot of great accomplishments highlighted. Laos held the "inaugural national artist awards at the National Cultural Hall in the capital Vientiane. Sixty-three artists in the fields of fine arts, performing arts and literature were awarded the title of National Artist, and 87 were named Prominent Artists; 38 of the awardees were women."

I'm doing my best to find the full list of names for future reference for those of us doing research on the growth of the arts in Laos.

I think this is a very positive development, especially in terms of gender equity and recognizing the artistic contributions of women in our culture. The Lao Women's Federation convened the “Fifth Lao Women’s Art Exhibition: Art in Women’s Imagination” during Women's History Month, although there aren't many details on who was exhibited this time around.

From the looks of it, the most interesting exhibit of 2012 was convened by M Gallery’s Singapore branch: “Voices” (1/21–2/28), featuring 6 Lao artists, including painter Kongphat Luangrath and photographer and video artist Souliya Phoumivong. Another name to watch for is Phetmalayvanh Keobounma, who, with Phoumivong attended the "2011 ASEAN-Korea Contemporary Media Art Exhibition: Cross-Scape.”

In the United Kingdom, Vong Phaophanit and his long-time collaborator Claire Oboussier had 3 main installations, the first being "Mute Meadow," a “forest of light,” on the banks of the River Foyle. They also presented an installation for the New Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand, Norway. Finally, their permanent laser light installation on the seafront at Weymouth, Light Veils, debuted at the 2012 London Olympic Games. But what do you think? Did ArtAsiaPacific miss any other major presentations from Lao artists in 2012?

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