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Songs of Memory Exhibition

Guest Book Selection
Songs of Memory Exhibition
Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Centre
12 February – 29 April 2010

March 10, 2010
"Victoria,
Pauline and I went to the exhibition at the Three Kings last Saturday and were truly amazed. Neither the Metropolitan Museum in New York, nor the Victoria and Albert Museum in London could have achieved what you have done. We spent a full two hours there until we could absorb no more.
We just this morning recommended a friend of ours who is House Mother to about 10 orphan girls in their late teens and early-20s from the Hills, to take them to the exhibition. They should have the advantage of understanding the words of the songs. It should also remind them of the villages from which they come.
We would like to join your Curator's Tour on Friday 19 March if possible, please.
Best."

Tony

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March 16, 2010
"Dear Victoria,
It would be a pleasure to meet when you are next in Vientiane. My family and I were posted here 2 years ago (my spouse and I work for the World Bank) and I'll look for your book in Monument Book store. I must say, I was very moved by your exhibit - the projection of dignity (finding non-sentimentalized/romanticized/communized or demonized portrayals of ethnic groups can be difficult), particularly given that I've recently been involved in some community empowerment/poverty reduction projects in ethnic 'minority' communities in Laos.
Best."

Stephanie Kuttner
PS - there are a lot of (US-based) musicians/music-lovers and professional instrument makers in my extended family so I also appreciate your contribution to musicology.

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March 25, 2010
Re: hill tribe girls photography workshop
"Hi Victoria~
Yes, thanks again!!! It was great. We finished our final workshop today and looked at the photographs the girls took at your exhibit and at Warorot Market. We did a circle share at the end and I asked the girls to talk about one thing that they learned about themselves or their culture. Many of them spoke about your exhibit as being the highlight and how it helped them learn about their hill tribe cultures and other different hill tribe cultures. One girl in particular, who is Karen, shared how your exhibit taught her about the Harvest Ritual and "calling to the spirits." Several of the girls enjoyed learning about the musical instruments as well. It was wonderful being able to collaborate with you and bring this to them. I definitely think that it resonated deeply for many of the girls."

Ashley Sitkin

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February 21, 2010
"Hello, Victoria,
What a memorable and exciting evening. Good turnout for the opening. The musicians were wonderful. You outdid yourself with the exhibition. The interactive aspects, the installation, the bilingual text all supported the presentation and accessibility of the objects and clothing. The musical and video elements made them come alive instead of silent and without meaning in a case or behind glass. Good job!
Neltje and I are all excited and discussing possibilities and contacts in Denver and San Francisco. We have traveled with a craft group for the past four years and most recently with a hard core textile group when we tour SW China visiting some 35 Hill Tribe communities in three provinces. The people on that trip are serious collectors with museum and university contacts.
We plan to go back next week for a second visit and quality time.
The center is quite amazing and a wonderful gift for visual artists and writers.Warm regards."

Mary Jane Edwards, Executive Director
Jentel Foundation
130 Lower Piney Road
Banner, WY 82832

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March 30, 2010
"Victoria,
I really cannot imagine the work and dedication that you have put into the exhibits I have seen on The Golden Triangle people. You still think of yourself as a musician but I think of your work as true ethnology and far more.
I did email to the Rubin today, and I hope there will be some connection for you. I am only an enthusiast, but a sincere one. I plan to also write to the San Francisco Museum of Asian Art as well, although my connections there are slim. Still, if they have not heard of you, they should.
I hope something will come of this for you as you richly deserve all rewards."

Brenda Joyce

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Thu, March 4, 2010
"Hi Victoria -
I met you on the tour with the Textile Society group recently - I was one of the three people who were staying at the Tamarind Village Hotel.
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the exhibitions. For me, it was a real eye opener into the cultures of the hill tribe people that I really had no previous experience or knowledge of. It's making me want to learn more. I can see how important your work really is.
I told you at the time we met that I thought the exhibition was one of the best I've ever seen. The curating was brilliant - the way the displays are set up, the use of photos and videos, the clothing, the instruments, the explanatory material - all absolutely first rate. Loved the way you brought in the Akha construction of the archway and also the swing. The accompanying materials were top notch as well. I've been looking at the book and the post cards a lot since I got home. I lent them the other day to a friend of mine here, Liza Linklater, another Canadian, who is also a photographer who has spent time in northern Thailand and elsewhere - suggested she might like to fit in a trip to Chiang Mai before the end of April!
Best of luck on all your future work. I look forward to following it. I also look forward to returning to northern Thailand and Laos - with eyes open in a new way.
Best regards"

- Jeannie Brown

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"Dear Victoria,
We were able to return to the Arts and Cultural Center yesterday and spent more than 2 hours in your exhibit. It is truly inspiring. Congratulations. We will relive our tranquil moments in Chiang Mai adventures when we dip into your book at home in the Blue Mountains. Hoping one day our paths may cross again. With warm regards"

Di and John England
New South Wales, Australia
(Di, archaeologist/John, cardiologist)

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"I am deeply moved by the spirit with which this exhibit is created, and inspired by the depth and breadth of the content. I will certainly come back and tell others about it. Most of all I’m touched by the sincere respect, admiration and awe that you have for the cultures represented here."
Azriel Cohen

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"This is an absolutely brilliant exhibit! Colorful, eye-catching, and visually stunning when first viewed, but an in-depth look shows some terrific research, historical detail and artifacts. As a historian and former museum curator from America, I can say that I am very impressed by the work done here. Thank you. Make it permanent!"
Charles
Minneapolis, USA

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"Your hard work reflects your responsibilities to the society." (Thai language)

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"A terrific, interactive, beautiful and touching exhibit and show. So much work but a great final product."
Malcolm

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"Very impressive! How could you make this happen? Amazing!" (Thai language)

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"Wonderful. I’m speechless. Thank you."
Nick Pfaff

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"An extraordinary collection and photographic journey. You have created a work of magnificent art. Congratulations!"
Celeste
Wyoming, USA

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"Outstanding contribution to preserving and celebrating the richness and beauty of hill tribe cultures – Well done! Thank you. We are all rewarded by your efforts and the sharing of culture by these extraordinary people"
- Mary Jane Edwards

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"Your heart shines through your inspirational, motivational, cultural sharing. It’s a blessing to have this rare material all together! A great gift to the world! Thanks for being you and shining your light through this extraordinary, amazing investment of cultural heritage."
Sequoia Henning

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Follow-up e-mail letter from Sequoia:
April 30, 2010
"WOW! You’re amazing!
Swadeeka;
I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how much i appreciated your show, all of it! I actually wanted to talk with you after , like the line up was there for others too as well.
I use sound for healing, both instruments, and the voice felt deeply blessed to be in attendance for your last viewing there.
I have sent your web site and my recommendations to a few friends to host your show.
I truly think it will go really where ever you want it too go, and then its justing asking your self the simple questions where do i want to go, and then contact the nearest museum.
You’re a powerful and inspiring woman and it has been a honour to meet you and hope our paths cross again. In love and gratitude,"

Sequoia Henning

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"Victoria, I don’t need to give you any compliments ‘coz people who wrote in your guestbook did it already. They said all I wanna say! I want to thank your for making me believe that music is the most beautiful heritage passed down to children of the world. . . . for sharing your special moments. . . and for giving me a chance to work with an incredible woman like you."
Golf
Guide/Translator - CMACC

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"Brilliant display, heartfelt emotion and of course amazing content. Thank you, Victoria."
Patricia Cheesman

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"Congratulations! You’ve done an amazing job with capturing the essence, music and beauty for the world."
Donna Durbin

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"Congratulations! We feel so lucky! We arrived three hours before in your city. We were astonished to see such a great work."
Dr. Konstantinos Paradissis
Greece

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"Breathtaking!"
Carol and Bob Stratton

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"Blessed and sacred work, Victoria."
Joel Rombouts
Australia

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"This was a very educational exhibition. I had a sense of connectedness not only with the tribal people, but with the land and earth itself – we are whole. . . Thank you for all your effort in putting this spark of life together. . . All the best,"
Gary
England

 
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