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Uncaged! The Art Of Ability At Mute Mute Gallery

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Well worth a visit

“Uncaged: The Art of Ability,” an exhibition displaying the artwork of two talented young artists opened Saturday November 14 at the Mute Mute Gallery on Tha Pae road. Presented in the exhibition are over 60 pieces of two courageous Thai children, Mai Aeju and Wichai Gavilla. These two young boys have been literally un-caged from the confines created by their cerebral palsy, poverty and the ignorance surrounding their condition with the help of Cultural Canvas and Baan Piranan, a resident care facility for individuals with cerebral palsy. Cultural Canvas Thailand worked together with Baan Piranan to teach the boys how to express themselves through their art. Their creativity and ingenuity shines in their artwork, expressed in multiple mediums.

What started as weekly art workshops to teach the two boys art grew into a full blown exhibition featuring their art. Mai and Wichai, with the help of Baan Piranan, overcame great hardship, abuse and neglect to transform into two lovely boys with a yearning to learn, to express themselves and to take part in the world at large. Cultural Canvas Thailand is a volunteer organization that hopes to foster equality, community interaction and social change through artistic outreach and volunteer services in conjunction with local organizations. Cultural Canvas volunteer Aimee Aubin said, “Art and therapy have given these children a voice, something to call their own. They’re no longer trapped behind stigmas and stiff bones. Today, they’re not patients- they’re artists.”

Mai and Wichai,as well as other residents and artists of Baan Piranan, were on hand to greet exhibition goers According to Piranan Singjalai, the occupational therapist in charge of Baan Piranan, the children under her care at the residential facility had suffered neglect and abuse until their rescue. Mai was quite literally caged, spending his life in a small bamboo cage under his mother’s wooden hut when Piranan found him. He is now a bright, alert boy whose determination and personality shine through.

Mai and Wichai’s artwork is displayed along with information and stories pertaining to cerebral palsy. Audience members are invited to take a journey through two floors of exhibition space portraying the boys’ stories, their art, and presenting their experience through multiple mediums. The exhibition’s goal is two-fold: to increase awareness and understanding about cerebral palsy and to raise money to continue the support of organizations advocating for struggling social groups. All of the artwork displayed is for sale by donation. Audiences’ donations will go directly to Cultural Canvas Thailand and Baan Piranan, continuing to provide them with the resources necessary to transform the lives of struggling social groups in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The opening exhibition will run at the Mute Mute Gallery until November 30th.


-- Chiang Mai Mail 2009/11/24


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