By Vietnam News August 7th, 2004

Vietnamese artist Do Tuan Anh won the Jurors’ Choice award in the annual ASEAN Art Awards, held in Bangkok on Wednesday, for his work entitled Invasion of Death.

The ASEAN Art Awards 2004, with its 10th anniversary theme, Ancient Root: Modern
Bridges, was sponsored and organised by Philip Morris Asia Ltd. Anh, whose work had an anti-drug theme, said he found inspiration in his drug-addict brother, and witnessing families worry about their children becoming drug-addicts daily .

“I will use my US$5,000 prize to upgrade my parents’ house and help my drug-addict brother reclaim his life by giving up the smoking habit that has caused severe sorrows for my entire family for years,” said Anh.

He said the award has encouraged him to continue pursuing art.

Five judges, from France, Canada, Australia, the US and Hong Kong, chose a grand
prize winner from the Philippines who won $15,000, and five jurors’ choice awardees, including Tuan Anh, out of 35 works selected from the 3,000 entries from the ASEAN region.

The judges said that Tuan Anh’s dark paining inherits the tradition of artists from the past who used images to reflect the most terrifying spectres in their epoch.

However, it employs contemporary idioms and icons, courageously confronting a social crisis, which is both global and personnel in its threat, they added.

Andrew White, vice president of Philip Morris Asia Ltd, said that he was struck by Tuan Anh’s work.

“It is a powerfully emotional statement. I had a special affinity for the Vietnamese and was very proud to see Viet Nam represented in this awards ceremony,” he said, adding that he will work with his country managers to talk about next year’s awards. “Philip Morris has a 50 year history of supporting the arts – our commitment is to continue to foster the arts. “We hope our efforts will not only prove regionally impacting, but also globally,” he said.

All of the entries in the ASEAN Art Awards will be exhibited at Thailand’s National Gallery, Bankok, until the end of August. — VNS

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