The geological term ‘alluvium’ – embodying in itself a sense of movement – refers to sedimentary matter washed onshore by flowing bodies of water. Often teeming with valuable ores continually picked up and dropped as a river gallivants on its seaward course, deposits of alluvium richly fertilize the grounds in which they find themselves and, one might assume, begin to give rise to life-forms.
Parallels are to be found between this natural phenomenon and the creative process. Just as water erodes and dissolves stones, soils and all things terrestrial – carrying the ores therein to other banks dropping them as alluvial matter so that the cycle can start again – with a body of work, any number of times an artist might start, leave, revisit, build on and seemingly finish it. It is not always the case that one can tell where a story begins and ends. Things are in a constant state of fluidity and just about everything contributes towards a final something, to be sought and channelled.
Featuring 11 artists – Nadege David, Do Thanh Lang, Ha Manh Thang, Hoang Duong Cam, Hoang Nam Viet, Le Hoang Bich Phuong, Sandrine Llouquet, Nguyen Huy An, Nguyen Manh Hung, Nguyen Quang Huy and Trong Gia Nguyen – Alluvium thus focuses on artworks that belong to projects in progress and have not yet been seen (or rarely seen). By no means remnants or mere trials, these alluvial pieces should be considered on their own merits but also important stepping stones linking where one has been with where one is heading. They give further insights into and provide new angles to look at past works as much as nurturing possible futures.
Varied as they are in expression, the exhibited works can be thematically divided into two sets. There are those that look out into the wilderness exploring elements that can be regarded as spiritual or alchemical, that go beyond the everyday. Others have more of a human presence dealing with the many events currently unfolding between us. But here again in bringing these two worlds together there arises an implication of an often-overlooked continuity between them – a suggestion of one whole ‘nature’ that encompasses all things, humane or otherwise, causes and effects alike.