Sculptures of Peace: INEB joins hands with SEM in solidarity for Myanmar

To mark the 40th anniversary of INEB’s Seeds of Peace journal and third-year remembrance of the Myanmar coup d’etat in February 2021, INEB and the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) collaborated in bringing to life an innovative sculptural art project expressing solidarity between the Thai-Myanmar people’s movements for justice and peace.

Inspired by an image created by the SEM team to promote their 2023 events on issues facing Myanmar migrant workers, INEB staff Dexter Cohen Bohn and a skilled team of art students from Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna in Chiang Mai worked to design and fabricate a two-meter-tall sculptural reproduction.

For ten days at Tao Luang Pottery Studio in San Kamphaeng, Nuttanan (Pim) Bundit, Teerut (Tee) Suppaso and Saranya (Fern) Namsung developed the project from sketch and clay model into sturdy tact-welded frame and papier mâché shellmade with 200 recycled Seeds of Peace journal issues.

Thanks to the support of many helping hands, including master potters, kiln technicians and even Dexter’s visiting parents – the final product was shipped to Bangkok in preparation for the project’s second phase.  

On January 29th, 2024 members of the migrant workercommunity living in Bangkok from Myanmar’s southern Dawei region were invited by SEM to participate in a contemplative art workshop hosted at the Sathriakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation. Together with the artists from Chiang Mai, INEB and SEM staff joined these Dawei participants in reflective exploration of an assorted thirty-three past Seeds of Peace issues from 1999-2023. 

Adding illustrations in pastel and paint around particularly evocative content, the participants engaged with the Seeds of Peace as a mirror and canvas for the expression of their feelings. A wide assortment of thought-provoking imagery took shape during the course of the workshop which participants then began to pasting onto the full size sculpture.

As a collage of language, symbol and color formed over the papier mâché shell, it was evident that the sculpture had truly come alive thanks to the heartfelt creativity these participants were able to share.  The finished sculpture was displayed at SEM’s February 10th ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ benefit music concert before going on permanent exhibition at the HOPE Space gallery in Bangkok.  

(Completed sculpture on display in central Bangkok at SEM’s “Do You Hear the People Sing” benefit music concert. Feb 10, 2024)
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