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Artists grieve with burnt holes, glass vases for Belsan children (October 09, 2004)

Artistic healing: Painter Nguyen Nhu Huy at the exhibition. — VNS Photo Duc Ngoc.
In a new joint exhibition, Motoko Uda and Nguyen Nhu Huy, from Japan and Viet Nam respectively, feature their interpretations of the recent terr orist attack on Russian school children in the town of Belsan.

The installation, entitled Requiem for the Children of Beslan, evokes ideas about memory, death, disappointment, and anger.

"The exhibition is in memory of those children in Belsan, Russia, who lost their lives and suffered," said the artists at the exhibition’s opening.

"After burning 150 holes into paper and cloth, which hang on the wall, we collected the ash and placed it in 150 glass vases, each symbolising one of the child victims in Belsan," said Nguyen Nhu Huy.

"We hope to communicate the terror of the guns and the fire, and empathise with the loss felt by the Belsan people," he said.

Motoko Uda, who has long been involved in Viet Nam’s art scene, said, "We provided a book for visitors to write their thoughts and feelings about Belsan’s innocent victims. Thanks to the support from the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in HCM City, we will be able to send the book to the Beslan Memorial House."

After beginning her career in HCM City in 1999, Uda opened the popular gallery MOCO, located on Nguyen Du Street. Many Vietnamese and foreign artists featured their work in her gallery before Uda closed it two years ago, returning to her career in painting.

"I think that painting can change the world," explained the now Tokyo-based artist.

Her friend, Huy, a professional artist in installation and performance art, shared her view.

He said art could connect people in the fight against evil. "We hope that through our work, the world will share the grief of the Beslan victims’ families," he said.

Requiem for the Children of Beslan runs until October 15 at La Fenetre Soleil coffee shop, 135 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, and will then move to Ha Noi. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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