Image Writing: Vietnamese Art in the Camps
Evening presentation by Dr. Sophia Law, Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts, Lingnan University
Drinks reception at 6:30 pm
Presentation at 7:00 pm
Close at 8:00 pm
Art making is image making. It relies on visual thinking and the use of imagery rather than language for the construction, expression and representation of thoughts and inner feelings. People with traumatic memories often find difficulty in translating their tragic feelings into words. For these people, art making, as a kind of image writing, can express what seems impossible to articulate and make the unspeakable visible. Recent theories of art and anthropology propose that art making is part of our biological nature and current brain and cognitive science findings shed light on the mechanisms of our vision perception and memory. This presentation adopts an interdisciplinary approach to scrutinize the expressive and communicative power of art as narratives of intense emotions by considering images created by the Vietnamese refugees held in detention camps in Hong Kong 20 years ago.
Sophia Law is the Associate Professor of the Department of Visual Studies at Lingnan University. An art historian with years of nursing experience, Professor Law has started a new research focus on the intrinsic nature of art as a language since 2007. Her research interests include art and trauma, vision and memory, art and well-being, as well as art facilitation. The presentation is part of the findings of her two-year research project on over 600 pieces of artwork done by the Vietnamese boat people in detention camps in Hong Kong during the late 1980s.