An art exhibition for charitable purposes opened on Monday at the showroom of the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association to celebrate the United Nations (UN) Day of Vesak 2014 in Vietnam.
From left: Indian film producer Vinodh Seneviratne (behind the woman in the foreground) and Indian actor Gagan Malik follow Vietnamese hosts inside the showroom of the exhibition opening
in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on April 28, 2014
Vesak, or "Buddha Day," is a major Buddhist festival of the year as it celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha on one day – the first full moon day in May which falls on Thursday next week.
The event, which will last until May 9, is also meant to raise funds for Buddhism Today Charity Fund and a project to build a charity center for cancer patients in Ho Chi Minh City.
It was attended by Indian film producer Vinodh Seneviratne and Indian actor Gagan Malik, who plays the role of the Buddha in the Indian movie Sidhartha Gautama which was released in 2013.
Fifty-four Vietnamese artists have brought to the exhibition 80 artworks, including one statue and 79 paintings they used oil, lacquer and wood to create, which are categorized according to a wide range of topics such as lotus – the iconic flower of Buddhism – Vietnamese landscapes and people, and Buddhism in Vietnam.
"The art exhibition is a very meaningful event held in response to the call by the UN to contribute to the aim of improving the life of the underprivileged people,” Venerable Thich Nhat Tu, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Buddhist Institute and chairman of the Buddhism Today Charity Fund, said at the opening ceremony.
A local visitor at the exhibition
It is also aimed at celebrating the UN Day of Vesak 2014 in Vietnam, he added.
With support from Vietnamese artist Nguyen Dam Thuy Nguyen and her friends, the number of artworks freely contributed to the event amounts to 80, he said.
All of the artworks will be sold and 40 percent of the sales will go to the fund, while the remaining 60 percent will be channeled into the building of the center for cancer patients, said Venerable Thich Nhat Tu who is the head of the organizing board of the event.
Vietnam will celebrate the United Nations Day of Vesak 2014 at Bai Dinh Temple in the northern province of Ninh Binh from May 7 to 11 under the theme of "Buddhist Perspective towards Achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals."
“The day will be an international event contributing to the role of Vietnamese Buddhism in international integration and promoting the country's culture and people,” the Vietnam News Agency quoted Thich Thanh Nhieu, Standing Vice President of the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, as saying at a press conference in Hanoi on Monday.
An organizing board and 2,000 volunteers are ready to receive about 10,000 participants, including 1,500 guests from 100 countries and 8,500 local Buddhists and visitors.
The event, which is being organized by the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in collaboration with the International Council for the Day of Vesak, will include Buddhist conferences, a film festival, and photo exhibitions.
It will focus activities on Buddhist responses to sustainable development and social issues, including global warming and environmental protection, healthy lifestyle, peacekeeping, and post-conflict recovery.