Norwegian Artists Help Decorate Vietnamese Sculpture Park

During the last few weeks three Norwegian artists have been working with six Vietnamese colleagues in a project striving to combine tradition and modern arts.
The nine artists, three Norwegian and six locals, gathered on the banks of the Han River in Da Nang late in March for a two-week Viet Nam-Norway stone sculpture symposium.
The Da Nang Sculpture Project, as it is called, is directed by Norwegian Oyvin Storbaekken. The goal was to give both Norwegian and local artists a chance to refine their skills in an inspiring setting.
“The nine Norwegian and Vietnamese artists have created these works for the love of art and this beautiful coastal city, not for money,” Storbaekken said.
The project is sponsored by Nordic Assistance for Viet Nam, which provided US$775,000 for the first stage, from 2002 to 2004. The Norwegian Agency for Development funded the second stage from 2004 to 2006.

Norwegian dragon
      One of the Norwegian artists is Oyvind Astein, who has just put the final touches on his sculpture Norwegian Dragon in Viet Nam.
Another is Norwegian sculptor Gunn Harbitz, who created the sculpture “Eternity” during the project. All of the works will be presented to Da Nang and placed in a statue park near the Han River.

Combining tradition with modern arts
Storbaekken (59) is former lecturer at the University of Architecture and University of Fine Arts in Oslo and has worked six years in Italy as a sculptor.
In 2001, he visited Da Nang and sought assistance for the Da Nang Sculpture Project, saying that he wanted to combine eastern traditions and modern arts in Non Nuoc Village outside Da Nang, which supplies many of the materials for sculptors.
Da Nang authorities paid for air tickets, food and accommodation while the Norwegian side paid for equipment, assistant artisans who helped the sculptors, and materials for the symposium.

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