Thursday, October 23, 2008

Viet Nam Videos

Kicking myself that I didn't take any pictures of Hung's sculpture of Ho Chi Minh, I did take this short clip of the work on it. This portion of the sculpture is up to the knees, so you can get an idea of just how large it is. In the backgound you can see the model of the torso and the granite sculpture. There is another torso behind this worker that will be destroyed as the work began on it when Hung was in Bergen, when he returned he found that some proportions were out and the piece could not be saved. OOOOPS! I do have a still pic of the model in the studio where you can see the design of the whole sculpture I think it will be about 30 feet tall when it is installed. I will see Hung this morning, I hope he brings me some pictures, he just finished the instalation yesterday. I was surprised when I got to the work site that there were two busts in granite. Hung wasn't happy with the way the first one worked out so they started all over again on that.

At the restaruant near the studio food is weighed live at your table before it is prepared for you. The picture of the chicken on a scale earlier in my blog is at the same place, this is normal and practical. Your food is fresh and doesn't require refrigeration at the restaurant. That cuts down on power use and spoilage, both of those are a big concern at home in food stores an restaurants at home. Maybe we could take a lesson from this practical way of doing things.

My friend Hang's son is a painter, sculptor and musician. The day I visited thier home he played one of the songs he wrote. I got a real kick out of the sheer enjoyment Hang had for his son's music, he is such an energetic man and delights in his own creations and those of others. I will miss all of these guys until I see them again.

This is a short video taken in the home of Van Ngoc, Cuong took me to meet him the weekend we visited Vung Tao. To really do justice to the body of work that he has just in his home would require a full length documentary. I was enthralled, couldn't really visit because there was just too much to see there, even his dining room table is a work of art in it's mass and simplicity. I think it must weigh close to 600lbs in solid teak. Well everything in the house is a work of art even if it is something utilitarian. I expect the pots they cook in are hand made and decorated. I hope I will see Ngoc in November when I come back for the opening of the exhibit.

One night on the way to Cuong's house the traffic was a little heavier than normal so I decided to take a short clip of that. The way that traffic moves here reminds me of a flock of bird or a school of fish. Since being here and traveling 100's of km on a motorbike I have only seen one accident so far. In Canada we could never move this volume of traffic. It may seem disorganized but there is a system and I think it works extremely well. If there is no lane in front of you you can move to the side. Although horns are honking all of the time they do not mean that someone is annoyed at another, just letting them know where each other are. You do get used to all of the honking and beeping, now I ride like everyone else, just enjoying everything that is going on and letting the driver do the driving.

The studio when I first arrived, the main work that is going on is a series of fiberglass sculptures that will be used in colleges, universities and art schools for studying the heman figure. There is a bunch of other work at the same time in metal, stone, and clay as well as my piece from wood. I could spend a few years here, well a lifetime, and never be bored.

As I mentioned earlier the work on the figures is pretty much complete and they have moved onto a project that involves embossing a large number of metal sheets. Shown here are three sculptors working on that project including my friend Minh. He just returned from a symposium in Korea and today is the first time I have had a chance to see him. Seems crazy but I have a pile of good friends here in Viet Nam, well actually around the world when I think about it. It is neat that we run into each other in so many places. My friends Noell and Mervy will be here for the exhibition in November and then on to Hanoi for a symposium there. Paul Haggins and Peerapong will also participate in that one, wish I could be too but there is too much work to do at home now. I think that now that we have had one symposium in Bergen it is important not to let that idea die with the first event and some communities in Alberta are interested in creating one of thier own next year too. Here we go!!!!!!!......I hope.

It is amazing to see how fast the work develops when experts are doing it. Minh has turned a sheet of metal into a work of art since this morning, I hope I will get a chance to see the finished work when it is installed. From the number of sheets that are here at the studio I think it is going to cover a very large space or maybe it will be several individual ones. I wonder what they will be working on when I get back the end of Nov. Well I must get going here, putting the gold leaf on my sculpture today and last minute details to Ice, Wood and Fire.

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