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Sunday, September 06, 2009

‘Ring of Fire’ shows off Asian Pottery Works

Sixteen Filipino potters and 10 other Southeast Asian ceramic artists will exhibit their wares in an international show entitled Ring of Fire at the Ayala Museum from September 21 to October 4, 2009.

The convergence of ASEAN potters in Makati is the first of its kind in the Philippines.

The participants of the ASEAN show will also interact in a two-day workshop where they will exchange information, and discuss individual techniques and the creative process underlying their works. The workshop will be held at the Luna and Amorsolo rooms of the Ayala Museum from September 22 to 23.

A display of 64works by the master potters in the region will attest to the intensity, passion, and peculiar identity of ASEAN ceramic artists. They have been influenced by ceramic artists from other parts of Asia, but now, they are drawing fire from each other.

Renowned ASEAN potters participating in the event include Ahadiat Joedawinata of Indonesia; Peter Low, James Seet, Lileng Wong, and Yeow Seng Cheah of Malaysia; Teck Heng Tan and Thomas Cheong of Singapore; Bathma Kaew-Ngok of Thailand; and Bao Toan Nguyen of Vietnam.

Filipino potters in the exhibit include Jon and wife Tessie Pettyjohn of Pansol; Hadrian and wife Camille Mendoza of Makiling; Jaime de Guzman of Candelaria, Quezon; Colorado-based Nelfa Querubin of Iloilo; Manila-based sculptress Julie Lluch of Iligan; Pete Cortes of Bulacan; Pablo Capati of Batangas; Joe Geraldo of Bacolod; Mark Valenzuela of Dumaguete; Winnie Go and Joey de Castro of Makati; Siegrid Bangyay and Lope Bosaing of Sagada.

“The primary goal of this project is to foster a community among Southeast Asian peoples that celebrates both the diversity and unity of the region through the art and craft of pottery,” says Mr. Mendoza, recipient of a Toyota Foundation networking grant in November 2007.

“A network of individuals and the organization of potters, scholars, and cultural workers in Southeast Asia will revive traditional knowledge and skills in pottery as well as teach new techniques and best practices done by contemporary ASEAN ceramic artists,” he adds.

Mendoza has touched base with contemporary potters in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. He is searching for more modern practitioners of the ancient art of pottery in Brunei and Myanmar. He has also connected with various communities of potters in the Philippines.

A website for the project: http://www.seapots.com has been created, aimed at increasing active exchanges among the region’s potters.

Also on display in the website are the works of various potters in the region including Serge Rega of Cambodia; Kurniawaty Guatama of Indonesia; Sisuk a refugee from Laos, now Thailand-based; Cindy Koh of Malaysia; folk potters from various pottery centers in Myanmar; Krisaya Luenganantakul, Takood Nui, and Vipoo Srivilasa, Atiporn Thongborisut, and Somthavin Urasyanadana of Thailand; and Van Che Nguyen of Vietnam.
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Aviation administration wants new, faster flights

HCM CITY — The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam is in negotiations with Laos, Cambodia and China to launch new air routes in a move to help airlines cut operating costs and boost profit, according to senior officials from the administration.

Lai Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the administration, said it was not easy to set up air routes which brought both economic interest and the general benefits for the concerned countries.

But the hard work is worth it to the countries and the airlines. National carrier Vietnam Airlines, for one, estimated it would save about US$400 per minute when flying times are reduced.

The air routes that would help shorten the distance among three Indochinese countries are Nam Dinh to Vilao and Pakse in Laos; Noi Bai in Ha Noi, Na San and Moc Chau in Son La Province to ASSA (in Laos); Tan Son Nhat in HCM City to Enrep (in Singapore); and the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Province of Can Tho to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The new routes will shorten by at least three minutes flying times from Ha Noi and Da Nang to Siem Riep and Phnom Penh in Cambodia; from Ha Noi to France, Germany or the US; from Malaysia and Singapore to Tan Son Nhat and Can Tho airports; from Cambodia, Thailand and Laos to Can Tho.

New links

To bring economic interest to airlines, CAAV proposed to set up new international air links to reduce flying times.

They are Cam Ranh to Mesox (in Thailand), which would shorten by four to five minutes flights from Tan Son Nhat to Northeast Asia; Phu Cat or Chu Lai to Bunta (in Indonesia) which would shave eight to 10 minutes off flights from HCM City to Hong Kong or Northeast Asia; and Noi Bai or Cat Bi to Sikou (in China), which would cut by 11 to 15 minutes flights from Noi Bai or Cat Bi airports to Hong Kong, Macau and Northeast Asia.

In order to provide alternatives to north-south routes in case of a storm in central Viet Nam, the administration is also trying to open new direct international flights, like Vientiane (in Laos)–Siem Riep (in Cambodia)–Tan Son Nhat, and Pakse/Vibun (in Laos)–Popet (in Cambodia).

These proposals will be discussed at the Asia Pacific Aviation Summit in mid-September, according to Bui Van Vo, head of the CAAV’s Air Traffic Management Bureau.

Economic interest

New routes would reduce flying times and cut operating costs for the airlines. In addition, the concerned countries would have the chance to apply world-standard methods of air traffic management, Thanh said.

"The new routes would attract more flights in transit via Viet Nam," Thanh said.

In June, CAAV opened four new domestic air routes, which lessened flying times on north-south routes by three to five minutes. Vietnam Airlines estimates the move would result in annual savings of hundreds of billions of dong. — VNS
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