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|Touched by War: "For Such a Time as This," through February 22 at the Figge Art Museum|
|Art - Reviews|
|Written by Ashley Allen|
|Wednesday, 26 November 2008 02:29|
Describing For Such a Time as This: Remembering Vietnam, artist Adrienne Noelle Werge said: "I wanted to build an environment in which people can come and meditate ... a space that is really built in such a way as to respect all the sacrifices that are made and all the lives that were touched by the Vietnam war and any war."
Werge was born in Vietnam in 1972 at the end of the Vietnam war and was adopted by an American family and brought to the States. Werge wrote in an artist statement: "I left one war zone to enter another, albeit of a different kind. As a child, I nursed feelings of aloneness and abandonment, while at the same time found exhilaration in the notion of having been the ‘chosen one.'"
In an interview earlier this month, she added: "As a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design, I started exploring my past as a Vietnamese American, or a Vietnamese adoptee, or an American who had some confusion about where she belonged, which of course, many people have at some point or another."
The exhibit, which opened November 15 and runs through February 22, features a bed of rice onto which video clips and photographs are projected, including an image of Werge as a child. Visitors are invited to leave their hand prints in the rice bed. One wall features a video of a day in Vietnam, allowing visitors to experience a sunset in the country.
Exactly 240 military-style "helmets" made of rice occupy 3,000 square feet of exhibit space - one helmet to represent each child that was in the orphanage with Werge. The thousands of grains of rice that make each helmet are meant to signify the large number of people that are impacted by one life. "We begin to see how very many lives are affected by war and how very many lives are touched by war," Werge said.
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