Wayne Kennedy: Exploring Khmer culture

For the last two years, Wayne Kennedy has been a frequent visitor to the Khmer Pagoda of Canada, a Buddhist temple in Côte-des-Neiges that serves Montreal's Cambodian community. In the course of research for his Master's thesis in Art Education, Kennedy tried to uncover what significance the temple's colourful paintings and golden statuettes had for its worshippers.

The religion tends to define the culture, said Kennedy, who is seen above with a mural depicting the stages from birth to death. For his thesis, Kennedy interviewed six members of the temple, many of whom had stories of tragedy and courage to tell about their lives under the Khmer Rouge, the Communist regime accused of executing an estimated two million Cambodians.

In the last four years, Kennedy has been involved with various Buddhist communities -- Thai, Burmese and Bangladeshi -- picking up some Pâli, an ancient regional language, along the way. Kennedy has been accepted to the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, a division of the University of Toronto, where he will be pursuing a doctoral degree. He hopes one day to be able to travel to Southeast Asia and visit the countries whose cultures he has been studying.



Two ounces for safety

Une once de prévention: Santé et sécurité dans les arts visuels, a publication of Concordia's Faculty of Fine Arts, was launched at the Musée d'Art Contemporain on May 25.

The English-language version, An Ounce of Prevention: Health and Safety in the Visual Arts, was published in December 1998 to address a widespread need for reliable information on maintaining a safe studio -- such issues as ventilation and air quality, electricity, lighting fire hazards, temperature, noise, floors, plumbing and lighting.

Devora Neumark did much of the research for the book, and, with Douglas Scott and Paul Gregory, compiled and wrote it. The translator is Jean-Paul Champagne, whose daughter, Micheline Champagne-Tremblay, won a competition for Design Art students for the book cover.

The Quebec government's Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) heartily endorsed the book. Copies may be bought for $8.25 at the Concordia Bookstores and the art supplies shop in the VA Building, among other locations.