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“Weaving the Ocean” to celebrate 45 years of EU-ASEAN relations

by asma
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At the core of the multimedia exhibition is a community project called “Weaving the Ocean” through which an artefact made of plastic debris from the ocean of Bali was woven together.

It is the inspiration of Indonesian artist, Ari Bayuaji, whose work will be displayed for the first time in Brussels. He hopes it “serves as a reminder” about the importance of preserving the environment.

The exhibition tells the story of the partnership between the EU and the ASEAN through historical photos of high-level meetings, showcasing the depth and breadth of the cooperation which was elevated to a Strategic Partnership in 2020. Both sides hope to solve global challenges together be it the pandemic, economic relations, security, education or the green transition.

The exhibition will also display testimonial videos featuring ambassadors, politicians, young leaders and journalists from the EU and ASEAN who have contributed to this region-to-region partnership in the past 45 years.

The textile sculpture “Weaving the Ocean” is created from plastic threads using ropes found on the shorelines and mangroves on the coast of Bali. The inspiration came to Ari during the pandemic, while walking on the beach, where he found that many roots of mangrove trees were tangled in plastic ropes, and he decided to use the plastic as material for weaving. The artist’s project engaged local people when the economic situation in Bali was difficult due to the lack of tourism, while at the same time it contributed towards raising awareness on the importance of preserving natural resources.

Ari told this website, “In nature we can find hope for a better future. Interweaving our culture and nature in a harmonious manner is one of most hopeful things human beings can do.” He believes the project and his idea of replacing vanishing materials with new “natural” materials easily found can be replicated in many countries.

In Brussels, young people from both regions are also being invited to express their views and expectations about the future of EU -ASEAN relations and what they believe the leaders’ priority of action should be.

Their wishes, thoughts and concerns will be gathered online and published on the day of the EU-ASEAN commemorative summit on 14 December. The expo itself runs from 1-14 December.

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