Extending the Love

Cambodian artist Chath Pier Sath’s painting

Even if the report of the pandemic of AIDS in China and the world is just one line of news, the occurrence of AIDS, from the people involved in sexual business, drug users and homosexual people to common people, from red-light district, drug dealers, gay bars to common families, it seems like a hopeless curse. Accompanied with AIDS is the discrimination to infected people, the ignorance, lack of trust and love towards the infected people. This discrimination itself does more than just humiliate people, but also makes the infected people feel filthy and without hope.

Yunnan is the province where AIDS is most severe in China, so the AIDS care people and culture workers have to face this fact. With this background and the burden to AIDS infected people, along with the TCG Nordica vision that we’ve had for many years (Stimulating reflection on human worth as expressed in various Art Forms), we decided to try to do something for this. We know that art, literature and music, by their special ways of communication, are considered as special international languages. People communicate at all levels by these arts, and they are also a way to meaningfully and deeply communicate to people’s hearts. Through this, the artists and audiences can have more free communication, followed by all kinds of understanding and resonance.

From the year of 2006, we started the 3-year program: “Contagious Love: Artistic reflection on HIV/Aids situation in China”. Our purpose is to strengthen people’s care about AIDS and to build a bridge between the artists, poets, AIDS care people and the AIDS infected people, so they could know and understand each other better. Three years passed so fast. We have worked with related organizations to have special topic lectures and seminars. We have visited the infected people & drug users, we had related exhibitions, performances etc..

In 2006, the first year of this program “Contagious Love”, many artists in Yunnan responded to our program. 38 of them were involved in painting, photography, decorating, video etc. to produce art works which were focused on AIDS. The second year, we had more than 10 writers, poets and artists involved in art work and exhibitions. In the third year was a pageant of music. We invited highest level musicians from North Europe. Through the sound of nature, they cared for the sick people in their sufferings and brokenness. The activities following this program still continue. We get the overwhelming support from the artists, poets and musicians of different countries: Cambodia, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.

This year is the curtain call of program “Contagious Love”, we are happy for the experiences we have had from this program. The gain is not how many exhibitions or performances we had, but the fact that through art, by communication and understanding, we change our apathy and ignorance. We are also touched by the artists who have been working hard to let people to close the cage of discrimination and to open the door of love.

Finally, we really want to say thanks. Thanks to the artists, to the related organizations, also thanks to the firm and persistent infected people who are full of hope and who have given the artists inspiration and encouragement. Through the sincere fellowship and mutual support for the infected people and drug users who were trying to abstain from the drugs, we realize the higher lever of human being’s value: love each other and let the love be extended.

Luo Fei /Artist, TCG Nordica Gallery Director & Curator
October 11th, 2008.

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