Artists Of The Mekong

Publication Date: 27th August 2021

Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador

©pixabay/2018/Pixabay License

Artists Of The Mekong: From Environmental Art To Environmental Awareness

Mekong River is one of the sources securing the livelihood of people along the river bank. As the tenth largest river in the world, it is the habitat of more than 850 freshwater fish species, and around 60 million people’s lives depends on the river.

With its enormous water and food supplies, as well as the rich fertile soil and natural resources it provides, Mekong River proves to be an indispensable source of people’s livelihood. According to the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the fisheries from the Lower Mekong Basin generates around $17 billion annually, which partly contributes to the GDP of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

However, the rapid expansion of economic activities, hydropower dam constructions, and overfishing, have gradually exhausted the river’s lifespan and biodiversity. The number of wildlife under water has drastically dropped. Some species are on the brink of extinction. The fish is losing their habitat and the river is threatened. The lives of people along the river bank are affected. Is there anything we can do about it? Raising the awareness and tickling the environmental issues can be started from different directions and approaches. Connecting people’s consciousness to the environment through digital art seems to be one of innovative and creative ways in addressing the environmental issues. Yes, the art could! Let’s take a look at the Artist of Mekong!

Artist of Mekong Team ©2019 Seang Chhayly

Artist of Mekong project aims to interrogate the environmental message regarding the endangered wildlife and extinction of the life under water in Mekong through digital art in which 19 artists have wholeheartedly involved in the project.  

Seang Chhayly is a leader of this Artist of Mekong project. He has become the YEA member since 2016 due to his interests and commitment in raising environmental awareness. His passion has grown after joining a number of YEA programs and meeting with many Green people whose passion is quite similar as his. Through this project, he has shown his enthusiasm in taking the artistic approach to convince people in realizing the importance of the Mekong River and how the lives in this river has been threatened.

“Million tons of plastic and waste are being pulled in the river, Million and millions of underwater and wildlife near the river are being died because of eating those dumbs. How could we stand still? We cannot just go and stop people, but we can persuade people by sharing their loves onto wildlife and Mekong River using our cute and super adorable characters…” said Chhayly.

Seang Chhayly, the project leader of Artist of Mekong ©2019 Seang Chhayly

All of the artists will create the digital art and adorable characters of the endangered wildlife. Their artworks will be displayed on different platforms such as at the Storytelling Event and on social media with different shocking data regarding the Mekong issues to bring more attention on the Mekong wildlife. The artworks might be available on the printed materials including stickers, T-shirt, key chains, bookmarks, and postcard.

“I believed that our small actions could do the job as a part of Helping Mekong activists,” Chhayly added. Artist of Mekong is one of the YEA project that has been started since 2018. This project is a part of Mekong Generation’s Event that will be held this year on June 05.a

The discussion among the Artist of Mekong members ©2018 Seang Chhayly

“Artists of the Mekong: From environmental art to environmental awareness”
Written Year: 2019
Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador

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