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Vietnam Art Books

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Intensive weekend explores links
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See Photo album below
GENEVA, N.Y. – Ho Chi Minh’s biographer, Vietnam’s United Nations minister, economists, musicians, and a psychotherapist specializing in treating Vietnam veterans were among the participants in ‘Vietnam: Transition and Transformation’, held this February 22-24 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. The eclectic gathering underlined what professor Jack Harris, one of the event’s organizers, labelled as an opportunity to expand discussion and understanding of contemporary Vietnam.

The three-day symposium at one of America’s leading liberal art campuses included a fashion show, an art exhibit, film screenings and a classic Vietnamese musical performance.

Artist and author David C.ThomasDavid C.Thomas, whose exhibition of Ho Chi Minh portraits is being exhibited around the U.S.A., was the focus of the opening reception, which also included a stunning Vietnam fashion show from fashion designer NgoThai Uyen and exhibits from graphic designer Nguyen Long and painter Nguyen Thi Phuong Duyen, visiting students at Mass-Art in Boston.

Thomas is co-author of the diary novel "An Artist's Portrait of Ho Chi Minh." He is also director of the Indo-China Arts Partnership and retired professor of studio art at Emmanuel College in Massachusetts.

Phong Nguyen, a 1997 National Heritage Fellow, presented traditional and folk music of Vietnam. He offered a wide range of the gentle yet jazzy music and dance from Northern, Central, Highlands, and Southern regions, each with its distinctive melodies and rhythms.

The conference closed with presentation on the ‘The View from the U.N.: Some Contemporary Issues for Vietnam’ by United Nations Minister Counsellor Le Hoai Trung, and a panel discussion on ‘The Vietnam Economy in Transition’. The panel included Lady Borton, VietNam field director for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization founded in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian victims of war. Today the AFSC is active in the United States, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Joining Lady Borton on the panel was Vu Thanh Tu Anh, an economist completing his Ph.D. at Boston College. He is an expert on the Vietnam economy in transition from full control to a free market system.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are known for an ambitious emphasis on international study and for their programs in community service.
The program was established in 1999 with a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education and additional grant of $193,000 in 2001 from the A Mellon Foundation. The Grants are managed by the Partnership for Global Education Program headed by Thomas J. D’Agostino, Ph.D.

As part of the program about 20 students spent one semester in HaNoi, studying Vietnamese language and culture. The College is aiming at making this program an annual event, said Jeremy Geller, Associate Director, OCP. While in HaNoi the students attend course in Vietnamese language, culture and civilization at the VietNam National University. The students also participate in several trips to the Hanoi art universities, Hue and other attractions. At present all participation is from the U.S. to VietNam but the program is exploring ways to facilitate a two-way exchange by bringing Vietnamese students to the U.S.

Web Sites, FYI:
Hobart College: http://www.hws.edu/
Borton: http://www.tuvy.com/resource/books/authors/b/Borton_Lady.html
Duiker: http://www.hyperionbooks.com/books/2000fall/hochiminh.htm
Gardner: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/preciouscargo/story.html
Nguyen: http://www.phong-nguyen.com/
Thomas: http://www.hochiminh.org/Pages/IAP_Information.html

Click on thumbnail to enlarge picture.

Duyen explaines Watercolor on Silk painting
Le Hoai Trung - The view
from the UN
Thomas presenting a seminar about Vietnamese art
David Thomas and the Mass-Art visiting students (from L) Uyen, Duyen and Long
Anh-Economic presentation
Phong Playing traditional instruments
Lady Borton
Borton, a keynote address
to the conference


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