RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
When we go on any vacation, we love talking about it – the stories could be in writings, verbal or through visuals. Arthur and Cecilia Viegas along with their children Melinda and Aaron set out on a road trip from Goa to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last year. Now, the mother-daughter duo are all set to share their adventurous and dream experience through an art and photography exhibition titled ‘Beyond Borders’ today at Kala Academy.
The duo have titled the exhibition ‘Beyond Borders’ since the most significant moment of their overland trip was when they crossed the Indo-Myanmar border and drove into foreign soil. An author and artist, Cecilia adds: “This marked the beginning of our overland journey and since ‘Beyond Borders’ also implies pushing ourselves beyond limits and giving our best in whatever we do, the title seemed appropriate to us.”
Explaining the purpose of the exhibition Melinda tells us that her father, Arthur would enthusiastically drive the family across India during her younger days but the Goa – Kuala Lumpur road trip was a dream that he turned into a reality last year. “It was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience so the whole point of this exhibition is to share some of that cultural nostalgia as well as support others towards the possibility of a long-distance road trip,” she explains.
Melinda, who is a freelance content writer, is hopeful this exhibition will bring together like-minded people who will support and appreciate their work. When asked if the idea of the exhibition was on her mind during the trip, Melinda tells us that if the idea struck her during the trip, she would have probably taken more photographs. “It was just this April when my mother was reminded of our overland trip through the pictures she saved that we realised the one-year mark of our trip was soon approaching and this seemed like the perfect time to hold an exhibition and share some of the trip’s highlights,” Melinda adds.
In total about 25 artworks which depict sights and scenes of their trip will be on display. During their trip, the Viegas Family were able to visit places and monuments rarely seen by tourists like Kyaiktiyo (Golden Pagoda), Amarapura (longest wooden foot bridge), Mingun (second largest bell), Kalay (Tropic of Cancer), Samutprakan (three-headed elephant Erawan Museum) and many others. These monuments have been captured in Cecilia’s water colour paintings and Melinda’s photographs.
A detailed record on the international segment of the trip, covering the route, along with helpful travel tips on Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia will also be on display. “The reason to have a detailed record is mainly to inspire others to follow their dreams and ‘hit the road’. We did not know anyone before us who had undertaken such a journey to South East Asia in a four-wheeler; it took my husband almost two years to plan our trip. Now, we would like to create awareness and guide others with similar aspirations,” says Cecilia. She further says that the exhibition is different as she does not think anyone has covered their overland experience through art and photography, as well as a detailed record of it. A part of the proceeds from the sale of their artworks will be donated to charity.
Sharing some of the important points to remember when going on an international road trip, Cecilia says that planning should be done months in advance. “Special overland travel permits have to be obtained for Myanmar and Thailand. Besides this, there’s route planning, accommodation and sight-seeing arrangements. Other documents like visas should be kept ready closer to departure.”
Asked if there will be any more overland trips in the future, Cecilia laughs and concludes: “Knowing the driving enthusiasts that both my husband and son are, there most probably will be.”
(The exhibition titled ‘Beyond Borders’ will be open for public viewing till June 10 at Kala Academy.)