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MEKONG CULTURAL HUB

Personal and professional development opportunities for creative cultural practitioners in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.

Mekong Cultural Hub (MCH) is an exciting new organisation, set up to offer personal and professional development opportunities for creative cultural practitioners in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand and to build sustainable networks around Asia. Programs will include workshops, exchange, training and networking, and will involve participants and practitioners from Taiwan, as well as other South-East Asian countries on particular programs.

MCH serves people who are working at the intersection of arts and society. It aims to support creative practitioners who are already established in their own contexts and are ready to widen their networks and their impact by developing regional projects and collaboration. One of the first projects of Mekong Cultural Hub in 2018 will be a Mekong Mapping, to learn more about the situation of cultural practitioners in our region and to develop a strong foundation for a network. We also plan to launch a “regional cultural leadership program” in partnership with British Council.

In its first year, MCH is supported by Ministry of Culture Taiwan (R.O.C.) and Fresh Sound Foundation, and collaborating with British Council. MCH is a sister organisation of Cambodian Living Arts, which has been working in Cambodia since 1998, and has a mission to be a catalyst in a vibrant arts sector in Cambodia. Both MCH and CLA share the belief that arts are at the heart of a vital society, and this spirit is reflected throughout our programs.

ARTS & SOCIETY

Supporting projects at the intersection of arts, culture and sustainable development

CULTURAL MOBILITY & EXCHANGE

Facilitating exchange and collaboration among creative cultural practitioners from the Mekong region, greater Asia and the world

PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Providing workshop, training and leadership opportunities for artists and creative community activists

Frances RUDGARD
Program Director
Alina LIN, Chia-Hui
Project Curator
Lulu WU, Meng-Hsuan
Curator's Assistant
Kai T. BRENNERT
Program Coordinator

MEKONG REGION

The Mekong region, including Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, shares unique similarities and distinct differences. We want to facilitate more exchange among creative cultural practitioners from these countries.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

In some programs, Mekong Cultural Hub will also interact with wider Southeast Asia. Regional dialogue with our neighbours is important to create the shared futures we want.

TAIWAN & GREATER ASIA

MCH sees the Mekong region as an integral part of the greater discourse of the Asia-Pacific region with Taiwan’s art communities ideally positioned as potential partners and collaborators.

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

Dara HUOT, CEO, Phare Performing Social Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Dara leads and manages Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) in its mission of supporting Phare Ponleu Selpak School, providing professional opportunities for Cambodian youth and revitalizing arts in Cambodia.

PPSE operates Phare, The Cambodian Circus which has nightly performances in Siem Reap, and Phare Productions International, which produces high impact private performances in Cambodia and around the world and Phare Creative Studio of Graphic Design and Animation.

Dara was a student at Phare Ponleu Selpak in 2001. He was later an interpreter at Phare and joined the first group of performing artists on awareness theater/circus performance tours to educate rural Cambodian populations on landmines, malaria, dengue fever and other public health and safety issues.

Dara has a track record in leadership, business development, marketing and customer service. He was invited by Phare in 2012 to become CEO of PPSE and help them on the journey to sustainability through a social entrepreneurship model.

BORNNOEM Milya is an event organizer who has been involved with Arts and Cultural Exchange in variety of genre such as Performance Arts, Visual Arts, Film/Moving Image, Music, Sport, Grassroots and Intellectual Exchange.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

She’s been working for the Japan Foundation Asia Center Phnom Penh Liaison office which has given her the opportunity to work with professional talented artists within Cambodia as well as other Asian Countries since 2016.

In the same year of 2016, she was invited to Tokyo International Film Festival. It was the time that she has built her international network and came back with inspirations for her career. Being passionate in culture and arts, she was assigned to be a person in charge of The Japanese Film Festival Cambodia. To organize her events even more memorable, notable, fun and creative, she believes in Arts, Humanity, Connect, Reflect, Create, Collaborate and Share.

Phonepaeth studied from 2008-2013 in the Department of Architecture at Souphanouvong University, in Luang Prabang, Laos, receiving his Bachelor of Architecture for a research project “The Tai Family Museum”.

Luang Prabang, Laos

While studying, he joined several international projects at the university, such as the “ASEAN University Culture Exchange” in 2010, the “Luang Prabang- Khonkaen Traditional Urban Workshop” in 2011, and “ASEAN Architectural Plus” held in 2012.

From 2013, he became director of a small but very dedicated group called the “Nor Phao Troupe”. It was formed in 2009 for the purpose of preserving and promoting the traditional practices of Buddhism, as well as the artistic culture of Luang Prabang. They focus on four main groups of activities: Traditional Performing Arts (dance, music, song, and puppetry), Flowers (traditional bouquet arrangement and the art of the banana leaf), Textiles (gold thread embroidery) and Gold Leaf (lacquerware and stenciling). They carry out free workshops for children as well as performances and workshops to showcase local traditional art, craft and music.

Now he is studying in Thailand for a Master’s degree in Cultural Management at Chulalongkorn University. This is an opportunity he feels is very much aligned with his fascination with local cultural heritage, and especially landscape and ethnic groups.

Misouda HEUANGSOUKKHOUN is the Founder of Mekong Art Initiative or (MAI) and the Manager of Lao Gallery.

Vientiane, Laos

Misouda’s passion for art developed when her parents opened the Lao Gallery, the first art gallery in Laos in 1985 after Independence for Laos was achieved in 1975.

By helping in her parents business, Misouda have been involved with many art activities in Laos. Misouda’s started her curatorial work in 2006 when she participated in the Mekong Art and Culture Project as a co-curator with the team from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

She combines her strong interest in art with her passion for social work through art exhibitions organized to raise funds for children with autism in Laos. Misouda was co-curator for the Singapore Biennale 2013, and a nominator of Laotian artist for the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Japan, in 2010 and a nominator of Laotian artist for the Signature Art Prize, Singapore in 2012 and 2014. In 2016, Misouda was invited from Taiwan Ministry of Culture to be a member of the inaugural Southeast Asia Advisory Committee to foster Art and Culture activities Between South East Asian and Taiwan.

Aung Than Oo is a young cultural and artistic professional, working together with a heritage trust association and national government.

Bagan, Myanmar

In 2018, he received his Master’s  of Art and Public Administration from Aldersgate College. He was honored as C.P.M.A by Edinburgh University IQN UK. He has been working for five years in the heritage and peace building sector, in support of regional cooperation in the Mekong region. This includes the cultural department; project management; budget making; proposal writing and donor reporting; strong communication with government and local community groups such as artist groups, heritage professional groups, and local owners; training provision to community for empowerment and enterprise businesses about tourism and art for handicraft; and conducting events for promotion of tourism and culture. Aung Than Oo is a Young Professional UNSECO delegate to WH Bahrain. He is also MASHAV Professional for Innovation 2018. He is also an ASEAN MY World 2030 Advocate.

Padamyar K KHINE is former dancer and actor, and a film and television producer from Myanmar.

Yangon, Myanmar

Padamyar is a descendant of “the Great Po Sein”; a legendary performer who took the leading role in the Myanmar Theatrical Industry.

She started learning Myanmar Traditional Dance at the age of four, was a child talent since the age of six. She participated around 25 movies as a child. She won a gold medal in Dancing at the National Theatrical Competition in 1993.

She later established a movie production house titled “Sein Pann”, which produced 56 movies. She was Line Producer of “Team Myanmar” TV series; which was exhibited in 2016 at MNTV and CHANNEL 9, and Line Producer of “The Sun, The Moon and The Truth” TV Series.

Padamyar started organizing events in 2009. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

Narumol (Kop) Thammapruksa is a performer, director, producer, cultural worker and social arts activist.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Her focus has been on using theatre and creative movement as a tool for social activism. Kop co-founded the “International WOW Company” with Josh Fox in 1997, which emphasized intercultural exchange through dance and theatre. She has also played different roles in many collaborative dance/theatre projects such as the Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) at UCLA, Noda Hideki’s AKAONI, the Setagaya Public Theatre’s Hotel Grand Asia, and the Necessary Stage’s “Mobile”

Kop was an artistic director and co-ordinator for several arts events such as World Artist for Tibet, Arts Against War, Mekong Project, Shadow Puppet Exchange, Kitakanay Music Exchange. Kop also teaches autobiographical writing and performance workshop. Her scripts “He-Me-She-It” was staged in Taiwan and the Philippines and “Sound of the Ocean” was three times re-staged in Taiwan by Spring Wind Theatre group. 

Her interest in alternative living brought her to organize a number of workshops on natural mud house building, five-senses playground, and recently, educational board game design. She is also an aikido instructor at RenShinKan Dojo, which is one of the most active aikido practice halls in Thailand.  She tries to apply aikido philosophy to life styles as portrayed in her aikido school’s activities.

Siriwat POKRAJEN is Documentation Officer at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA).

Bangkok, Thailand

This is a Southeast Asian intergovernmental organization with a mandate to build capacity in and share knowledge of cultural heritage conservation. Prior to his current position, he has been a public relations officer at The Art Center of Chulalongkorn University, an art reporter and a magazine contributor. His interests lie in contemporary art, creative industries and LGBT issues. In 2015, he worked as a volunteer at the HIV Prevention and Health Promotion Unit of UNESCO Bangkok, offering support in organizing Thailand’s commemoration of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and arranging the event’s cultural programmes.

Lê Thuận Uyên is an independent researcher and curator currently living and working in Hanoi.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Her work investigates alternative histories of Vietnam, bringing to light personal narratives rendered absent, unknown or undesirable by the official historical record. Her projects often involve close collaboration with artists and investigate current socio-political contexts and their impact on artistic production in Vietnam. From 2014–2016 she was general manager of Nhà Sàn Collective — an artist-founded institution that aims to create room for new forms of expression, production and exchange. Her curatorial projects include: Gang of Five Chancing Modern (Hanoi, 2017), Sindikat Campursari (Jakarta, 2016), Embedded South(s) (2016), Miền Méo Miệng (Umea, 2015), Skylines With Flying People 3 (Hanoi, 2015-17),… Lê holds a BA in Politics from the University of York and MA in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London. She was a resident curator at Art in General (NYC) from April–August 2017 through a fellowship with the Asian Cultural Council.

Lê Thiên Bảo  is a self-taught curator, who moved from Communications into the Fine Arts to pursue her curatorial passions.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Since 2010, she has been developing her own artistic approach and growing her network in the diverse local art community. Having joined the Curator Team at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre since April 2016, she has actively involved in art history researches, curatorial practices and contributed to various educational programs. Bo aims to build a healthy and self-sustaining ecosystem for local art community and wish to extend her connections to regional network. She believes education, research and archive are key necessary conditions; and the threshold between art market and academic / experimental practices is the sufficient condition to help growing the art scene.

She is an alumnus of the Uncommon Pursuits curatorial workshop (2018) organized by Sàn Art. Some of her selected curatorial projects in Vietnam include: curator of ‘The Prolonged Interventions’ (2016) – an socially engaged project by Lê Phi Long, The Factory, HCMC; co-curator/writer of ‘I, Me, Mine’ (2017) with Saigon Artbook 7, inpages & The Factory, HCMC; co-curator of ‘Spirit of Friendship’ – a group exhibition and on-going art history research about artists’ collectives in Vietnam since 1975, The Factory, HCMC; co-organizer of ‘Wintercearig Project’ (2017) – raising mental mealth awareness in Vietnam through contemporary arts and dance, HCMC, Vietnam; curator of ‘Scenes of the imago’ (2018) – a solo exhibition by Nghĩa Đng, The Factory, HCMC. 

Laurent, Lin Chen-Wei is a Ph. D student majoring in urban planning and community development in National Taiwan University.

Taipei, Taiwan

Since 2008, he had finished his Fine Arts program (BA) and Performance Arts Study (MA) in Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. 

Since 2015, he became a reporter and project manager working with various migrant workers from Southeast Asia who stayed in Taiwan. The newspaper is called “4 Way Voice” , which Vietnamese, Khmer, Burmese, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia and Tagalog version languages were included.

He has been working as a reporter, curator, organizer of community art festivals(in Taoyuan City, Taiwan), art critic, art/ culture history researcher and sometimes as an artist.

He also works as the Artistic Director of Sanwan Cultural Hub(SCC), as well as the curator of 2019 Makassar Biennale in eastern part of Indonesia.

LIAO Yuan-Yu (Emma) is a program coordinator of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying).

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

She is in charge of annual program planning and executing, and especially is responsible for the “Professional Actors’ Training Project” and “The Grand Opening Outdoor Show”. Emma has been the program coordinator in Ju Percussion Group and joined the program planning of “Taiwan International Percussion Convention (TIPC)” in 2014.

 

PROJECTS & PARTNERS

SEAΔ

 

SEAΔ is a program co-created by Mekong Cultural Hub and British Council which creates space for cultural practitioners to reflect on how their work in arts and culture can contribute to sustainable development within South East Asia through their individual and collective leadership. Each year we will select 10 Fellows from 10 countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The program has 4 main gatherings spread over a one-year period where Fellows get together. Each gathering takes place in a different country and has a unique purpose: exchange, create, share then reflect.

Co-created with British Council

YOUNG CULTURAL INNOVATORS

 

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) is a ten-year project launched by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2014 to engage fifty of the world’s most dynamic young creative changemakers every year. Mekong Cultural Hub (MCH) is a regional hub for these young artists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural leaders. Every year, MCH sends four individuals to Salzburg and offers them a platform for action upon their return.

In Partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar

CULTURAL EXCHANGE

 

Cultural exchange is a central element in the journey towards our shared futures. Creative cultural practitioners are in the unique position to reflect, question, challenge, create and collaborate. The cultural exchange program offers an opportunity for individuals and organisations to develop collaborative projects, participate in festivals and workshops, and engage in other forms of cultural exchange within the Mekong region.

Core Funding by Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan)
Seed Funding by Fresh Sound Foundation