What are your thoughts on the painting auction to raise money for the Attapeu flood victims?

More than 70 Lao and Thai artists organised an auction of their paintings in support of flood victims in Attapeu province at two art galleries in Vientiane. The charity auction featured a number of donated artworks and US$2,500 has been raised so far from the sale of the paintings, with more expected to follow. Vientiane Times asked some of the artists for their impressions of the event.

Members of the organising committee and participating artists cut a ribbon at the opening ceremony.

Mr Paul Phothizan, a Lao artist and member of the organising commitee: I’m very happy to unite the artists and put on this exhibition together. It’s the first time we have done anything like this. We will give all the money we get from the sale of our paintings to the people who have been made homeless by the flood. All of the artists feel strongly about what we’re doing and it’s great that we can come together here and do something to help. We will hold another exhibition after this. What we’re doing shows that artists don’t only do things for profit and for themselves but also for the benefit of other people.

Ms Sone Khounpaserd, a Lao artist: I donated a painting. It’s very meaningful for me and all of the participating artists. I’m very happy to donate one of my paintings to raise money for the flood victims. We may not be able to give a big amount but it’s very important to donate our artworks and help in some way. It’s something we’re doing from our hearts. I hope the money we contribute can help to ease the hardship of those who have lost their homes and belongings. Of course, all the donating artists are very proud to be able to help in this way. It’s also good to organise an event that involves both Lao and Thai artists as it helps to bring us closer together.
Prasit Visaya, a Thai artist: Along with the other Thai artists here, I’m very happy to donate two of my paintings to this project and to take part in the opening ceremony of the exhibition. I’m also very proud to be able to help raise money for families who are suffering after the terrible flood in Attapeu province. It may only be a small amount but it’s very meaningful. As we know Lao and Thai people are like friends and relatives and we can understand each other’s language so we should help each other in times of need. There are many groups of people in Thailand working to provide things like food, drinking water and money for people in Attapeu. We were shocked when we first heard the news about the flood after the dam burst. We talked about it and made plans to help in some way because the recovery effort is going to go on for a long time and will require a lot of money to sustain so many people. Lao and Thai people should show compassion when their close neighbours are suffering in some way.

Mr Saotoula Khounphomxay, a Lao artist: This is the first time I’ve done anything like this but it’s very meaningful for me. I think that donating my paintings will help to raise money for the people of Attapeu. I have also personally donated something and worked as a volunteer with a group involved in helping with the flood relief effort. I would like to ask everyone to support us by buying a painting so that we can raise more money. Many foreigners have helped in this way and we Lao should also help as much as we can.

Dr Maysing Chanboutdy, Director of the National Institute of Fine Arts, member of the organising committee and an artist: It’s good that so many groups of people are making donations to help the people of Attapeu. We as artists have organised several activities to raise money for this worthy cause. Some artists have also made personal donations. Now we are involved in this auction exhibition which is a very meaningful event for us. We asked artists to donate their work and a number of them eagerly agree to do so. We want to use our occupation beneficially. Many people have visited the exhibition and supported our efforts and I would like to thank them all. When we have raised all the money we can, we will give it to an agency to pass it on to the flood victims. This isn’t the first or last time artists have banded together to help people in need. We have previously helped people in distress after a serious event occurred and will do so again in the future.

By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update August 31, 2018)

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