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Stop-motion artist, teacher grateful for Singapore residency opportunity

A teacher of the National Institute of Fine Arts, Mr Souliya Phoumivong, is very happy about the experience, knowledge and skills he gained during a residency programme at Nanyang Technological University's Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Singapore.

Mr Souliya, the first Lao artist to be chosen for this programme, believes the techniques he picked up in Singapore will improve his own artwork as well as the overall arts scene in Laos, particularly contemporary art.

He is also excited about the prospect of sharing these skills with his students and other artists.

Mr Souliya prepares a presentation. --Photos Souliya

Mr Souliya is especially grateful to his hosts at the CCA for providing him an opportunity to conduct research and to hone his skills.

Besides teaching New Media at the Department of Communication Design in the National Institute of Fine Arts in Vientiane, Mr Souliya is an independent stop-motion animation artist. He is also considered one of the outstanding contemporary artists of Laos.

He has worked on art and taught it for a long time, and toured many countries in the region to display his artwork.

He used the three-month programme at the CCA, from February 9 to April 29, for research and improving his art. He also learnt more techniques for stop-motion animation and animated cartoon production.

He also got a chance to exchange experiences and knowledge of stop motion animation and other contemporary arts with many artists and curators from around the world.

Throughout the short-term residency, he met other artists and curators each week. They presented their artworks to each other, discussed the methods used to create them and shared ideas they had developed from research. The artists also had to introduce audiences to the history of arts of their country.

At the end of the programme, Mr Souliya and the other artists displayed the artworks created during the residency.

For Mr Souliya, the residency was also the perfect opportunity to represent other Lao artists and show off their abilities and talents on the international stage. He also promoted Laos and its culture and lifestyle through his contemporary arts and clay animation characters.

Mr Souliya said it was not easy for him as a Lao artist to get the residency and a chance to showcase his artwork in another country because of many factors, such as the status of development, socio-economic conditions and limited knowledge.

“Fortunately I tried my best to apply and was accepted. The residency programme and all activities were supported by CCA. Everything was comfortable for me living there. I would like to thank the CCA for offering me the residency and providing such wonderful facilities,” he said.

“The CCA artist in residency programme is very important and meaningful for me because it offered a chance to a Lao artist like me to live in Singapore for some time for research and exchange of experiences with many artists from around the world.”

He added it was a “very special time” because the CCA organised interactions with other artists in addition to offering a scholarship for research and creating artworks.

“At the same time, the CCA cooperated with art and design schools with campuses at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to give me a chance to study the techniques of animation cartoon production,” he said.

“Besides researching and gaining expertise in techniques, I tried to present Lao contemporary arts and Lao culture and lifestyle as well as possible via characters in my stop motion animation. My works attracted the interest of audience very well.”

Mr Souliya said he wanted to promote Lao people, culture and arts to Singaporean and international audiences because the people of Singapore didn't know much about these issues even though their country is a member of Asean and located not far from Laos.

“I will share the lessons, knowledge and skills gained during this programme with other artists and students in Laos and to develop arts in the future,” he said.

“I also hopeful my achievements can serve as an example and inspiration for other Lao artists to take part in this project in future.”

Located in Gillman Barracks, the CCA is a national research centre of NTU and is supported by a grant from the Economic Development Board of Singapore.

The centre is unique for its exhibitions, international residencies, research and academic education, and knowledge production and dissemination.

The CCA positions itself as a space for critical discourse and encourages new ways of thinking about “Spaces of the Curatorial” in Southeast Asia and beyond.

As a res earch centre, it aims to provide visiting researchers and curators a comprehensive study on the contemporary art ecosystem in Singapore and the region.

The Centre's residencies programme is dedicated to facilitate the production of knowledge and research, engaging and connecting artists, curators and researchers from Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond, across various disciplines.



By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update July 31 , 2017 )

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