Sunday, October 26, 2008

Viet Nam Sculpture

It's finished,(almost), and as usual my time left here is quickly coming to an end. I fly out of Ho Chi Minh City tommorow at 6am so that means getting up at three and to the airport. What a trip I have had this fall and from plans being made already it looks like I can look forward to something similar next year. Sometimes I reflect on the work that goes into this stuff and wonder how I will do it but that feeling is fleeting as enthusiasm takes over and I can't wait to get to work and get as much done as I can. When I look back I realize that without the support network I am so lucky to have these things simply wouldn't be possible. Thanks go out to everyone at home and around the globe to people that have helped me achieve my dreams and will make it possible for me to persue new ones.

This is my sculpture, almost complete. I designed the base from granite and wood, it will be made for me during November before I get back for the opening of the exhibition. I applied gold foil to the top of the hat which represents sunshine and to the baby, the sunshine and future of family and mankind.

Minh, Nam and Chien pose with me and "From the Heart" as I left it at the studio. I will sign it after the base is finished, when the sculpture is truly completed. It rained all day so we had a chance to take off our shirts, you just can't chance that when the sun shines as I learned in 05 when my photographer was almost killed by the sunshine. Odd that in Canada we can take our clothes off on a nice sunny day and have to dress up when it's cold out, here it is the opposite, in the sunshine you cover up as much bare skin as possible and take it off on days that aren't so nice.
The sculpture I brought along with me "Ice Wood and Fire" will also be exhibited. The main element is a wood turning and complimented with glass, metal, stone and light. This piece was a collaborative effort with two Atti2ude Club members and great friends Tracie Ward and Shirley Paradis. After the show in HCMC it will be shipped to Russia and become a part of the permanent collection of the Penza Museum of Fine Art. I think all of this is pretty (really) cool and hope that I will have other trips in the future that can compare, in even a small way, to this year's.

Pictured here are Hung, Chien, Cuong, Minh and Nam. As usual the food was delicious and we had a great time talking about my time there, past experiences together and what is to come in the future. I hope to see these guys in Canada sometime soon and many other wonderful artists that I have met over the last several years. I think it is possible to include Canada in the global project we will launch over the next year, something that we have spent a lot of time discussing during my time here. That is one of the tasks I have to work on in the next few months.

After our farewell lunch I went on a whirlwind shopping trip in downtown HCMC. My cyclo driver, Sit, was a really nice guy and helped me with getting to the places I needed to go. He also negotiated fair prices for me with with shop owners, knowing that I have come to Viet Nam several times and plan to return I feel like I don't get treated like the average tourist.

Cuong took me back to my hotel, this is a view of him that was pretty much standard for me during this trip. It was a long ways from my hotel to the studio but rather than let me take a taxi he picked me up at the hotel to drive me to the studio and came back to take me back at the end of the day many many times. His wife To and daughter To Lan helped me with shopping etc and were just great friends. To cooked a traditional North American supper for me one day, spagetti with all the fixins including parmesan cheese. I really appreciate the help everyone gave me and down home hospitality. I felt right at home all of the time, not like I was on the other side of the world.

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