They say art imitates reality, but here’s an artist that chose to engage in a discourse in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together – by way of combining several techniques. The result is a series of complex post-modern works that make a piquant commentary on the modern world, where human beings revel in denial and so often seek
BY VINEET RADHAKRISHNAN
Spirits of the Yellow Leaves
Flitting among the trees just beyond the peripheries of our vision, the members of Thailand’s 400-strong Mlabri tribe have managed to remain largely inconspicuous. The relentless progression of the world, however, is not something they can escape. As its younger members are increasingly exposed to external influences, and conservation efforts fail to address what really matters to the Mlabri, it is humanity as a whole that is in danger of losing a part of our common property – culture.
BY SHU NIMONJIYA
Saving Species on the Brink
Overharvesting of wild Southeast Asian species to meet increased demands for medicinal products has led to several local extinctions, alarming occurrences that risk triggering rapid population declines. A critical component of healthy ecosystems, measures have to be put in place so as to effectively conserve this region’s natural heritage.
BY DR MADHU RAO AND DR WILL DUCKWORTH
Large urban conurbations have become synonymous with Asia as the region continues to undergo huge cultural development and economic growth, and this applies just as much to Moscow, the East European capital of Asia’s, and the world’s, largest country. Yet challenges abound for this megacity, which is looking east for solutions to manage future population needs, by way of polycentric structures and the development of new innovative hubs.
BY SOPHIE IBBOTSON AND MAX LOVELL-HOARE
Within the imposing Himalayan mountains lies the former kingdom of Mustang that now has to face
the question: Do all roads lead to modernity? Construction of a new highway linking Mustang to China and Nepal is underway and change is creeping into a society that has for centuries remained isolated from the conveniences and pitfalls of modern life. Local people are both excited and apprehensive about where this new path will lead them.
BY SARANSH SEGAL
Dissolving the Myth
While the foreign media popularly portrays North Korea as a depressing industrial landscape populated by faceless official buildings and gloomy people, the reality is very different, both in the vibrant, bustling capital of Pyongyang and the picturesque and unspoiled rural areas that make up much of this isolated pariah state. Hard-working and proud, North Korea’s people are ready to unlock the country’s full potential, if only they may be given the opportunity to do so.
BY ARAM PAN