"The diverse collaboration of refugees' hard work of life, tied up by one mother tongue, Art."
- Reza Rostami, founder of Art Box PHM.
The People of Asia, in collaboration with Art Box PHM, presents the Art Box Exhibition 2020. This exhibition is an art exhibition by displaced people, aiming to tell their stories to the world.
The exhibition featured paintings from refugee artists from various cultural origins. Starting from February 22nd to March 8th, 2020, the exhibition featured arts that represent the past, the interest, and the hopes of these featured artists.
The purpose of the Artbox Exhibition is to provide a platform for refugee artists to have the opportunity to network, increase their exposure as artists and tell their stories to the world, which is in-line with the vision of Art Box PHM.
The exhibition provides a space for refugee artists to exhibit their paintings and, at the same time, highlighting the current refugee situation in Malaysia to the public. The opening ceremony of the Artbox exhibition featured a keynote speech from Reza Rostami as the founder of Art Box PHM and a talk session from all the refugee artists.
The opening ceremony also starred a panel discussion between The People of Asia together with UNHCR and RNC (Refugee Network Center) about the current refugee situation in Malaysia and how art can help as a medium to the refugee. Because of the limited access to healthcare, education, and work opportunities, art can become a way to express their emotions and increase their livelihood altogether.
On the opening day of the Artbox exhibition, the artists display the collection from their previous artwork, and some are made specifically for the Artbox exhibition. All of the refugee artists got the opportunity to mingle freely with visitors and shared their stories. They even managed to exchange contacts, social media, and take photographs together. During the opening ceremony, several paintings attracted the visitors to bid on the live auction. Some paintings are sold on the live auction, but many still left unsold.
Telling their stories is the first step to make a difference, but the next step is to involve everyone to support these artists and their community.
These refugee artists were also able to make new friends during the event. The ArtBox Exhibition allowed the refugee artist community to introduce themselves as artists to the public. Not only were they able to showcase their artworks, but they also established new connections and were able to talk about their art in front of a larger audience. Through this event, we hope that these artists will be able to grow together with their art along their journey as artists.
The online bidding started on February 23rd and will end on March 8th, which you can access through this link: https://thepeopleofasia.com/artbox-exhibition/auction/
To learn more about the artists visit @artboxphm Instagram account or check out the artist profile on the auction page.