Cambodia Self Help Demining
By Rupert Parker
Fragments Exhibition In Aid Of ‘Cambodia Self Help Demining’ Comes To Hôtel De La Paix
Emotive body of sculpture addresses South East Asia’s tragic legacy of landmines. From 23 September – 3 November 2010, the pioneering Arts Lounge at Siem Reap’s renowned Hôtel de la Paix will host the Asia debut of Fragments, an evocative collection of sculptural works by renowned artist Blake. Inspired by landmine survivors, the exhibition will raise vital funds for mine clearance and survivor support in Cambodia – where up to six million landmines are thought to have been laid during three decades of civil war. With Indochina one of the most heavily mined regions in the world, the exhibition at Hôtel de la Paix’s Arts Lounge brings Fragments to its spiritual home for the first time, adding an unprecedented geographical context and direct relevance to the works.
Each of the 15 powerful bronze works is named after a type of landmine, and the collection is an emphatic denial of the glorification of war and commentary on the tragically destructive nature of man. Thirty per cent of sales prices will be donated to the Siem Reap-based NGO Cambodian Self Help Demining, founded by former child soldier Aki Ra, and will be used to help some of the 40,000 people in Cambodia thought to have lost limbs to landmines. Last year 243 people in Cambodia were killed or injured by explosive remnants of war (ERW), with around one third being children.
Says Blake, “This body of art speaks of a tragic nature in man and of our history, built upon the continuing cycle of wars. My sculpture has given me a voice that has led me to create an exhibition for the benefit of landmine clearance, and to raise awareness of the issue and mobilise action to support this cause. The Fragments exhibition provides a mechanism for the public, corporations and individuals to support the arts and to make a tangible contribution towards the solution of the problems caused by landmines and unexploded weapons.”
For those looking to visit the exhibition, Bridge & Wickers (tel: 020 7483 6555; ) offers 4 nights at Hôtel de la Paix from £1,228 per person, including deluxe room accommodation, return flights departing from London Heathrow with Malaysia Airlines; and private return transfers in Siem Reap. This price is based on two sharing and is valid for travel until 30 November 2010.