An art exhibition showcasing the healing power of art has been opened in Vietnam capital city of Hanoi by US veteran David Thomas and 21 Vietnamese artists.
The exhibition, named “David Thomas and Friends”, will run until April 29th at the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Vietnam News Agency reported.
David Thomas, who participated in the U.S. Army’s operations in Vietnam’s Central Highlands during the war, exhibits graphic works created during his fight against Parkinson’s disease in recent years. In 2015, Thomas was diagnosed with the disease, one of the causes of which is said to be exposure to Agent Orange during wartime. After seeing X-ray films of his brain, he created visual images of the battle with the disease, using digital printing to combine images of his own brain with abstract motifs to show the harms of the toxic chemical, thus voicing his opposition against the war.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese artists who are part of the exhibition, including Bui Hai Son, Dao Chau Hai, Le Huy Tiep, Le Kinh Tai, Vu Bach Lien and Vu Kim Thu, bring to the exhibition their new artworks on the beauty of art, the connection of emotions and aesthetic, the companionship in life, and a common view of the future.
These artists are all contemporary artists who have participated in art programs in the U.S. and Vietnam through the non-profit Indochina Arts Partnership founded by the American in 1988. David Thomas, born in 1946 in Portland, Maine, joined the U.S. Army in the war in Vietnam in the region from 1969-70. He returned to the U.S. in 1970 and created artworks of the Vietnamese people. He visited Vietnam in 1987, and the trip sped up his aspiration to build the Indochina Arts Partnership which has helped develop cultural exchange between the two countries over the past more than 30 years.
In recognition of his work, Thomas was the first foreigner to be awarded Vietnam’s For Cultural Cause Medal in 1999. The exhibition “David Thomas and Friends” not only showcases the healing power of art but also demonstrates the connections and understanding that can be built through cultural exchange.