Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Drawing Dialogue 3 2019-2021 at Keighley Creative Gallery

The third installment of the Drawing Dialogue project reached a successful conclusion and this time an exhibition was arranged at Keighley Creative in West Yorkshire, UK. This was an opportunity for participants and visitors to survey all the drawings that had been created by the three-person teams during the project duration.

Drawing Dialogue 3 was a project running from 2019-2021, involving 36 artists from around the world interacting with each other's work. The artists were arranged in groups of three with each artist initiating a set of four drawings. Once each felt that a good beginning had been established, they were sent on to the next artist in the group and so on until there were three sets of A2 drawings that all three had worked on. 

The exhibition at the Keighley Creative Gallery will run from 10th June - 1st July 2021 at Old Sunwin House, Keighley, BD21 3QJ, UK.

To attend the Private View (6-8pm), please email: 

From 2-4pm on Saturday 26 June there will be a Drawing Dialogue Symposium (online) during which participating artists will share their experiences working on the project and there will be an opportunity to discuss collaborative drawing and other drawing-related issues. 

To book your free ticket to the online event please visit:

An online symposium was held before the exhibition opening attended by 30 participants. Three of the artists whose work is featured in the exhibition gave presentations on their work, their working methods and also their attitudes towards drawing itself.

One of the presenters, Garry Barker (Leeds Arts University, UK), gave a very interesting presentation on the subject of the dot and the line. Garry has now written up about his talk, revisiting the presentation and his account can be read here on his blog:

For more information about the Drawing Dialogue project please visit the following posts:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Skyline Walking

 Skyline Walking is a recent project initiated by Alisa Oleva. As an open call for participants, Alisa asked for short videos of around one minute duration and recording a walk that features a scene looking directly upwards towards the sky, with buildings silhouetted against the night sky.

Alisa's plan was to combine the submitted videos from all over the world into an 'accumulative video archive'. As a creative provocation the open call provided the following paragraph:

‘I like to walk at night. I like to look up and trace the rooftops of the buildings with my eyes. As kids we are often told to look where we are going and mind one’s step. But what if we wander the streets looking up, walking the up-streets of the city architecture? We often have our phone in hands as we walk, why not use it to see the city from a different angle?’

On Thursday 29th April, I chose a location in Ho Chi Minh City that had conveniently spaced buildings with a noticeable architecture feature in the facade...and the rest I left to serendipity. During the minute's filming I walked around 30-40 feet avoiding cars and other pedestrians, orienting the camera as I walked, trying to use the nearby architecture to recreate the sense of 'being there'. 

After reviewing the video I realized that, perhaps due to the height of the buildings and the changing orientation of the camera, it seemed as though I was hardly walking at all. I was surprised by the feeling that the recorded walk was not the same walk as the one I experienced while filming. I found that as the experience was transformed into a digital recording, the experienced had also been transformed. 

The submitted videos are being broadcast from Thursday to Saturday, from 12:00-6:00pm during the run of the 'Midnight Sun' exhibition.

I am always interested in participating in projects initiated by other artists. It is refreshing to become immersed in an activity that has already been devised and orchestrated by someone else, with all its surprises and discoveries.

The videos are streamed via the broadcast section of the Black Tower website.

The broadcast page of Black Tower can be found here.

Further details about the Midnight Sun exhibition can be found here.

Learn more about Alisa's work here.

Please view the recorded walk via the broadcast page in order to see the work in the exhibition context. Once the exhibition has finished, the walk can be viewed below:

Thursday, May 20, 2021

GROW 2021: Growing Your Apparel Business with DTG 2021

 On 18th April 2021, the GROW 2021 event was held at Le Meridien Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The event was hosted by Fluxmall DTG to an assembled audience of local designers, entrepreneurs, industry representatives and students.

After an introduction to digital printing and its many applications by Fluxmall DTG director Dmitry Sarbaev as well as practical demonstrations by his team using the digital printing machines transported to the venue, a panel discussion was held that examined how the local industry and design sect have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what the future may bring.

The panel discussion was facilitated by Dmitry Sarbaev and featured contributions by:

Trường Ngọc Anh - CEO and founder of HNBMG

Nguyễn Thanh Tam - Senior Business Specialist of DuPont Speciality Products Co., Ltd

Dr. Nina Yiu - Manager of the Fashion (Enterprise) Degress Programme at RMIT University, Vietnam

Patrick S. Ford - Artist and Associate Lecturer of Design Studies at RMIT University, Vietnam

An article based on the topics discussed during the panel discussion can be read here.

A video review of the event, created by Fluxmall DTG, can be viewed below, or here

Photos and images courtesy of Fluxmall DTG.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Collecting Colours in Lac Village, Hoa Binh, North Vietnam

 On 6th April I set out from Hanoi with Dr. Nina Yiu and a team from the Vietnamese Women's Museum on trip to visit Lac Village near Hoa Binh, South East of Hanoi.

After a three and a half hour drive we arrived in the beautiful village, finding it beautiful and quiet. The village sits in a valley with tree-clad hills surrounding it and which is carpeted in lush green rice fields. Normally this location would be buzzing with activity, local community members working and international tourists on adventure holidays. Unfortunately, due to the effects of the COVID pandemic there are no international tourists and only handful of domestic tourists from other parts of Vietnam. Normally the local community members would be making clothes, bags, and other attractive products with designs based upon traditional patterns and designs. Other community members would take the tourists on trekking trips through the rice fields and into the local hills. The tourists would stay in stilt houses constructed to follow the traditional construction methods. It was tragic to see it so quiet and devoid of visitors.

Nina and the team from the Vietnamese Women's Museum were collaborating on a project that aims to provide some support for the local communities in this area. The idea is that Nina's students at RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City would work on designs for clothes and bags that are then made by the local community craftspeople and sold to tourists from the Museum, with proceeds going to support the local community in the future.

Of course, the students do not aim to simply reproduce traditional styles and decorative patterns, they wished to add a twist, to transform the designs and patterns in such a way as to reinvest those designs with a contemporary spirit. Some of the designs were more complicated than those that would be usually made in the village and so Nina came to assist them in gaining an understanding of the contemporary designs and also to provide technical advice, visualizing paper patterns etc. 

Nina was on official business from RMIT but I financed myself to join the trip to Hanoi / Hoa Binh / Lac Village to see this lovely place.

Although the day turned out to be very busy with non-stop meetings for the whole day, I did find time to take a short walk through the village and as I did so I decided to collect ambient colours along the way.

The location of the village and the colours I collected, along with a few photos I took can be found below.

Before dusk we all set off on the three and a half hours drive back to Hanoi.

Lac Village (Google Maps)

The area around Hoa Binh showing Lac Village
(Google Maps)

Hoa Binh seen in relation to Hanoi 
(Google Maps)

Reaching the crest of the hill

Breakfast stop along the way

The hanging food stalls 

Arriving at Lac Village

Village detail

Village detail

12 found colours

Sunday, January 31, 2021

渡 (Portal) - Cheung Chau Wave 2020/21 - Update

 Last month I posted information about the Cheung Chau Wave Arts Festival centered around the small island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong. At the time I didn't completely understand how the festival was operating, despite being one of the participants. This is an intriguing position to be in and made the whole situation quite interesting. 

Festival Poster (Credit:

Recently, I picked up on festival lists that explained more about the festival. The Cheung Chau Wave festival, titled 渡 (Portal) is now presented more fully on the festival website, here and is listed as running from Dec 2020 - Feb 2021.

Festival website listing

Once inside, information can be sought either by genre or by artist name. My recorded performance of 'No holiday' took place on Cheung Chau during the period I called the island my home (2012-2018). The performance was originally conceived for the 'Duration and Dialogue Performance Arts Festival' in Toronto, Canada in 2017 and subsequently gave rise to the ongoing, serial performance it now is. Since then the performance has been recorded and live-streamed from the UK, Venice - Italy and Saigon - Vietnam. <ore performances were planned but these have been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation. As soon as the situation improves it is hoped to resume the saga. 

My page on the festival can be accessed here.

The recording of 'No holiday - Cheung Chau, 2017' can also be found on the Cheung Chau Wave Festival YouTube channel.

'No holiday, Cheung Chau, 2017'

The performance recording can also be accessed on my own YouTube Channel, and more information regarding the performance can be read on my website:

Saturday, December 19, 2020

渡 (Portal) - Cheung Chau Wave 2020

渡 (Portal), the 2020 edition of the annual Cheung Chau Wave Festival, formed part of the planned Inter-island Festival in Hong Kong comprising exhibitions and events based on the island of Cheung Chau, created by artists residing on Cheung Chau or by those with strong connections to the island.

Unfortunately, as in many parts of the world, the planned events and activities had to be drastically reduced due to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

I lived on Cheung Chau from October 2012 until May 2018, after which I left and relocated to Vietnam. My time on the island became a kind of exile, though a thoroughly peaceful and enjoyable one. Every morning I would leave on the ferry for work, while it was still dark, and return in the evening after dusk. Consequently, over the years I didn't form many friendships with other island residents. This was a great pity and was caused by my hermetic lifestyle. 
Not long before I finally left the island I was out on a quick shopping trip among the back-streets of the island and I came upon an interesting gathering close to the old fishermen's school. To my surprise it was part of an arts festival organized by artists resident on the island. I was shocked to learn that these and previous events had been organized by a group of like-minded creative residents and I had absolutely no knowledge of the events or the people organizing them. 
I had sometimes thought that a festival on the island would be an amazing opportunity, making the most of the island's unique setting and environment, and it was frustrating to have missed a chance to connect with and participate in this festival while living on the island.

Later, now living in Vietnam, I saw an online notice about the 2020 edition of the festival and immediately wanted to participate. I submitted a recording of my serial performance 'No holiday' as it was filmed on the island in 2017. That year had been a productive one for me, creating several versions of the performance and live-streaming it to performance art festivals in Canada and the USA.  

'No holiday', Cheung Chau, 2017

Cheung Chau Wave Instagram post

Although many events had to be postponed this year, as far as I am aware, my 'No holiday' performance was screened, along with other work, on the Cheung Chau ferry over the weekend of 4th-6th December 2020.

It gave me deep personal satisfaction to be able to participate in the festival and awakened fond memories of my sojourn on the little island, a time I will never forget.

Cheung Chau Ferry, activity listing

This and other 'No holiday' performances can be viewed here on my YouTube Channel, and are introduced here on my website.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

'Weaving Experience Into Memory' - Vietnam Festival of Creativity and Design 2020

The exhibition ‘Weaving Experience Into Memory’ opened on 16th November at L’Usine, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City following months of work and preparation. The event formed part of the annual Vietnam Festival of Creativity and Design, the annual showcase of creativity within the artistic, design and cultural fields in Vietnam. 

This year the festival spanned three cities: Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City during two weeks of events.

A5 Exhibition Leaflet


At L’Usine a collection of artworks and fashion exhibits were presented along with ‘information hangers’ and edited videos that attempted to explain the process behind the finished artefacts. The exhibition project served three functions: a) To investigate the intersection of art and design, b) To investigate a selection of industry resources and traditional hand-craftsmanship available within Vietnam, and c) To present this information in a format that could serve as a case study for students at RMIT Vietnam. 

The exhibition was supported and sponsored by RMIT Vietnam, L'Usine, Afromazi Design, Fluxmall DTG, Richever.

A detailed description can be found in the exhibition catalogue.

Opening Reception Honoured Guests (Photo Credit: RMIT)

HTV Interview (Photo Credit: Ngoc Minh)

This sharing of information and experience with our students was high on the list of priorities as the various elements in the exhibition were drawn together. It was even possible to propose the exhibition opening reception as a subject for photography students to target in support of their ‘event photography’ work. The MC for the event was also an RMIT Vietnam business student who was undergoing training as an MC.

Installation shot (Photo Credit: Khao Nguyen)

Installation Shot (Photo Credit: Dave Lapthorne)

One week seems so short after so much work and preparation and it was over all too quickly. The opening reception saw many more attendees than had been anticipated and the exhibition was picked up on more than 25 different news sources, arts and culture online zines and websites. Local TV station ‘HTV’ also came to conduct interviews and record footage of the exhibition.

Exhibition Entrance (Photo Credit: RMIT)