Painting

For the Ethnic Tribe Museum in Phongsaly, we made a nice drawing of an Akha woman. The idea is to cut the head so that people can put their head through and take pictures of themselves in an Akha dress. Very touristy, I know! But I have to admit that I usually have lots of fun with those “photo-walls”. And it is even more fun to make them! Especially when you are in Laos and the whole thing becomes all of a sudden a community art project – curious neighbors and colleagues watching and joining. leaving again and new people coming to help. I’m always surprised how curious people in Laos are about drawing and painting. There is so little art and art education. Most people from the villages never had the possibility to draw before. Unbelievable! I’m still shocked when I’m confronted with how little the government supports creativity and arts in gerneral. Of course the villagers have their handicrafts – but this can be rather seen as a skill and tradition than creativity and expression (actually I’m not sure about this myself – people express so much with their handicraft and it can be very creative, too. Maybe it’s just difficult for us “Westerners” to see or understand it)

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