Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

Review: Oh Soon-Hwa’s “Coastal Regions (Delta)” at The Private Museum [Singapore]

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“From its headwaters in the Tibetan plateau, the Mekong River flows past six countries for over 4,000 kilometers to the South China Sea—but its journey is unquiet. Since the 1990s, the river has been punctuated by a string of Chinese hydropower dams, with dozens more in the works. Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam are also constructing scores of large dams in the Mekong River Basin, with the promise of cheap electric power for the region.

At The Private Museum, photographer Oh Soon-Hwa contemplates not razed mountains or concrete walls, but the quiet, devastating transformations brought about by unchecked development. The dams, along with climate change, play havoc with the delta’s ecologies, inducing deforestation, unpredictable droughts and flooding, and surges of seawater into agricultural areas. In her solo exhibition, “Coastal Regions (Delta),” the Singapore-based photographer and educator presented 13 large digital color prints (all works 2017). Her imagery, documentarian in scope yet possessing an undefined melancholy, focuses on the southern Mekong River Delta in Vietnam, where the river has been integral to the region’s cultural and economic life for centuries. …”

 

Read the rest of Marybeth Stock’s review on Art Asia Pacific.

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