Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oct 19

The granite model of Hung's sculpture of Uncle Ho, I visited the worksite where he is creating the sculpture the day I went to Vung Tao with Cuong and his family but didn't take pictures! I think the figure is about 12 feet tall, the whole sculpture about 25 feet in granite.
So many things to see on the street, it amazes me what they can transport on a motorbike. Here a family of five, not an uncommon sight. And these are 100cc bikes, at home we call them scooters.
Next to the restaurant near the studio they are building a new hotel, here the footings are being dug in, check out the foot wear, I think I am the only one with steel toed boots.
Working on details of my sculpture "From the Heart"
The studio has so much sculpture I can't imagine how to describe it, piled in every corner. This is just a smidgeon of the interesting things there.
Vu, Cuong and I at Vu's home in Duong Binh province. Vu is a professor of sculpture at HCMC University of architecture and specializes in wood, he is providing me with tools for my work.
Everyone likes to try on my hat, I have it signed as I meet people. This is Nam, an old friend and Dean of Sculpture at the HCMC University of Architecture.
Vu's daughter, the children are so cute, Vietnamese people have black eyes. I could spend a lifetime just taking photographs here.
One of the resident sculptuors at the studio and one of my old friends, Chien. He is working on a sculpture that will be exhibited during Nov. in HCMC
It is very common to have your food brought to the table and wieghed before you order it. Like giving the OK on a bottle of wine, the practical part of it is that refrigeration isn't neccesary. Restaruants have fish, lobster, squid, chickens.........all ready for the customer to order. The prepared meal comes within 15 minutes usually, fast, fresh and delicious

I am still in HCMC, after a day off yesterday I will go back to the studio at 9 this morning, today I will complete my sculpture for the show in Nov/Dec here. Then I have a few days off to be a tourist, do some shopping etc. Not sure what I will do but would like to visit Chau Doc for a day or so, visit some friends there and see my sculptures too. I don't know if they have been moved or if the park was created around them where they were made. That is just a point of interest for me, will also be nice to see the works of the other artists that were in the symposium at Nui Sam (Sam Mountain) in 05, that will bring back memories of good folks and good times spent there.
Yesterday Phuong hosted me at the home of his girlfriend's father, Quang, about 15 of us got together, had a beautiful meal that Phuong cooked himself. One of the sculptors that I know, Oanh, who I haven't seen yet on this trip came. It is neat to see so many old friends, he speaks Vietnamese very well and I speak english very well so it was kind of neat to pass on that I remember him by describing his sculpture at Nui Sam through my broken Vietnamese and then he drew a picture of my sculpture there. We laugh a lot about things like that. I took lots of pictures, conversations are pretty hard to follow but luckily Phuong and some of the others speak english well. I had it kind of easy last night as four of the group were named Phuong so I could throw that out there and have a 25% chance of being right.
There was a lot of discussion about the new project we hope to stimulate, when I get home there is a lot of work to do on that, we are optimistic that it will grow quickly and become a long term project. I think there is a good chance that it will launch in Thailand, Australia, Russia, Viet Nam, Japan, China and Germany as our group has members that are excited about this project and top level arts administrators in those countries. Big whuppin cudos to Pham Van Hang for coming up with this idea!!! I am hopeful that we can create some interest in Canada too, I think (and everyone else that knows about it) that there is a real possiblity that this project will be successful and help to spread the benefits that art creates to communities, artists, business' and local cultures where ever it will be created.

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