|The Rainbow Bridge of Friendship – Exhibition of Donated Artworks by Overseas Artists
Friendship is the treasure of life. Friendship enables us to transcend our beliefs and forge profound relationships and mutual understanding with persons different from ourselves. Cultural exchanges share the same attribute where individuals are connected through interacting with peoples of various cultures, thereby contributing to building a harmonious society.
As such, SGM has organised an art festival, “Celebration of Friendship – International Art Festival” at Wisma Kebudayaan SGM from November 1 to December 28, 2014. The festival included an art exhibition entitled “The Rainbow Bridge of Friendship – Exhibition of Donated Artworks by Overseas Artists” and various arts-related activities such as guided tours, a workshop on critiquing art, tea ceremony, making sushi, making kimchi, calligraphy, poetry recitation and movie screenings.
|Have Fun with Mosaic Art
The art exhibition is a follow-up to the “Exhibition of Works Donated by Local Artists” held in 2008 and 2012. This exhibition consists of artworks by 39 artists from 18 countries and territories including China, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Peru and the Philippines. Opened mainly on weekends, the public appreciated artworks done in numerous styles and mediums, emphasising harmony in diversity.
A highlight among the activities included the gongfu tea ceremony, a Chinese tea-brewing practice which began during the Zhou Dynasty (c. 1046–256 BCE). With harmony as the core value of this practice, serving tea has long become a traditional custom, a period to relax with friends, bonding with them while appreciating the various aromas and tastes. Artist-cum-teapot-collector Richard Wong also demonstrated how this tea ceremony is done.
The founder of Dua Space Dance Theatre, Mr Anthony Meh was also here to give an overview of the culture of dance, a language of body movements that has come into being since ancient times. There was also an activity on decorating gingerbread houses, held under the instruction of Mdm Lau Soon Ching. Eleven movies from seven countries such as Singapore, Japan and Peru were screened during the celebration.
The poetry appreciation event, titled “Too Many Words: Using Poetry to Say Simple Things” saw poems recited in six languages, such as Malay, English, Mandarin, Japanese, German and French. The poems covered themes such as hope, love and coping with loss. There was also a riddle section where audience members would win small gifts if they guessed the answers correctly. Young children were also part of the reciting team in this event.
|Gingerbread House Decoration
|Art Talk — Travel through Time with Dance
On hand to open the festival on November 8 was the President of Soka Gakkai Malaysia Michael Kok. In his speech, he mentioned that the exhibition was made possible through the friendships formed over the years with many parties. He elaborated that SGM’s promotion of art was based on the belief that “artistic expressions have the power to open people’s hearts to one another.” He also said, “Beauty, art and culture are the living expression of the human spirit and the chords that connect individuals, drawing people together in recognition of our common humanity. We believe that they are the way to peace.”
Dignitaries present at the opening ceremony included the Ambassador of Ecuador, HE Lourdes Puma Puma, Ambassador of Peru, HE Marco V. Balarezo, and dignitaries from various embassies.