Sunday, February 20, 2011

All about Adrian Jones and the 'restricted reading room' at the HCMC library

Sandrine Llouquet and Adrian Jones by Mads Monsen

This is the best photo of Sandrine that I have ever seen. It's all there. The beauty, the intellect, the daughter, the years, the partner, the desire to learn, the diaspora. Let us capture this forever. Because that's what aSaigonCreativeMorning is all about. It's about the ideas, and absorprtion and regurgitation and disparate cultures  and whatever happens after that. Too many coffees and I thought about this. Bad idea, all that coffee. But a better idea is what we all need. Dearly. That's it.

'You had to be there', as they say. And that's the idea. Did anybody know that an entire record of the North/South Vietnamese story, visual and written,  is kept, and not burned, at the Ho Chi Minh City Library? And only accessible to those with a permit. Adrian told stories of what it took to get that permit and what he found while there.

Adrian Jones, with a great love of story telling, is in the business of allowing the Vietnamese people to paint the world in a 20th century  context, having assembled the Witness Collection - the largest private collection of Vietnamese art in the world, because the Vietnamese and maybe only the Vietnamese, are uniquely qualified and skilled enough to do that. Eurpean colonialism, American Imperialism. Internal strife. Independence, Largely self-taught. This is our world history, not revisionist or propagandised. Balanced things.

Thank you Adrian. You had to be there and we thank you. And for those who weren't, you lost something.

Next month, a bit of great history and art, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And the Vietnamese artist who made it happen. Let's join together. But, you have to be there.

Thank you too Sandrine.

Full photos of the event are available on our Facebook group page.

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