More than 250 people visited the exhibition dedicated to the of unbeknown artist Somsanith between Mar 13 and 14.
In the incredible setting, Lao, French and international visitors have been able to admire gold threaded embroideries, Buddhist stencils recovered on temples in LuangPrabang and restored wall hangings. In total, it is no less than 50 pieces that have been exhibited.
On Saturday Mar13, French Ambassadorto the Lao PDR Florence Jeanblanc-Risler welcomed Lao authorities and the diplomatic community for the official opening of the exhibition on Somsanith’s art works, in the presence of Minister to the Prime Minister Thipphakone Chanthavongsa,and Minister of Education and Sports Sengdeuan Lachanthaboun.
Greeted by a speech by the French Ambassador to the Lao PDR, the guests had the opportunity to discuss with the artist, and benefited from his explanations and his knowledge of the historic and artistic heritage of LuangPrabang.
Ambassador Florence Jeanblanc-Risler praised the “extreme ethnicity of Somsanith’s artistic universe”, sometimes using surprising canvases, such as fallen leaves. Throughout the exhibition, the artist combines ancestral practices with modernity, and invites one to reflect on the frailty of life and the impermanence of all things.
Great success was also achieved by the public events organized by Institute Français du Laos on Somsanith’s work: more than 150 people visited the exhibition dedicated to Buddhist stencils from LuangPrabang from Mar 11-13 at the Chao Anou gallery.
Somsanith held a workshop displaying his stencil technique, attracting a great number of monks and students from the National Fine Arts School of Vientiane. On Mar 11, conference by LuangPrabang’s heritage specialist Mr. Francis Engelmann attracted more than 90 people at Institute Français.
This outstanding success reinforces the artist’s personal commitment to transmission, which is according to him an essential part of his art practice. Along the young generations, dedicated predominantly to the transmission of live arts, he keeps the LuangPrabang tradition –according to which different artistic practices must communicate with one another- alive.
Awarded the title of « Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres » in 2019, Somsanith regularly holds exhibitions around the world. Some of his pieces are currently lent to the Quai Branly museum in Paris, that puts Arts and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas to the forefront.
In Laos, France is very supportive, particularly via the French Development Agency (AFD), of the valorization of the Lao historic and touristic heritage. Currently, the AFD contributes for up to EUR 6 million to the financing of the CHAMPA project, aiming to preserve and promote Champassak and Savannakhet’s cultural heritage. After 20 years of cooperation for the preservation of LuangPrabang, the AFD and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism maintain their common action in southern Laos.
With its series of events around Somsanith’s art, the French Embassy to the Lao PDR and the French Institute of Laos continue their cultural programming and actions towards young generations, which begun early 2020 with the 1st Photo Week and the one-year long photo contest, whose winning pictures will be displayed around the Embassy in a few days.
Source: Lao News Agency