Galerie Quynh is thrilled to launch the community-art project Livinwondr initiated by Hung Viet Tran. The gallery will host a 9-day fundraising exhibition from the 6th to the 14th of May.
Comprising a sculptural structure made up of stainless-steel (inox) tubes that can be arranged in various permutations, Livinwondr is an interactive project, taking on configurational transformations in direct response to public surroundings. The shape-shifting nature of Livinwondr is not unlike how the name itself – and thus its meaning – can be deliberated upon along multiple avenues: the states of being immersed in wonder and beauty; of living with curiosity and an open mind; of recognizing living wonders – miracles or spectacles that are alive.
Notwithstanding variations in outward appearances, a constant at the heart of Livinwondr is its commitment to communities and collective actions. A manifestation of the interconnectedness of our modern world, for each Livinwondr project any member of the (global) population can contribute, via an online platform, their artistic interpretation of a theme previously set. Curated by Tran, the submissions are varied in expression and discipline such as fine art, design, photography, illustration, sonic arts, comics, calligraphy, etc. – ‘anything that sparks imagination’. Celebrated artist Tiffany Chung, veteran photographer Thong Van Nguyen and comic book artist But Chi are among the 17 contributors to the project thus far. Submissions are engraved upon the inox tubes and woven into the fabric of an all-encompassing whole. Once finished, the pieces function as public platforms for communal exchanges and connection and can be employed towards exhibition and performance purposes. Within the framework of each individual Livinwondr project, workshops and other participatory events are organized to engender the exploration of the (hi)stories behind the artworks, which can also be experienced via disembodied, digital mediums.
The first Livinwondr incarnation – under the theme Stars in Our Eyes: Creating a Sense of Place – has been conceived to unfold in Vietnam. Here, through an open call for submissions, the public is invited to (re)imagine the country’s past and future and to find its place within an ever-evolving present; to take back collective memories fading away with each passing generation; and to create a sense of beauty for everyday life.
As of April 2016, Stars in Our Eyes has received 25 submissions from Vietnam and beyond. Making use of this content, two Livinwondr structures have been assembled and displayed (in November 2015 at Saigon Holiday Market and Huflit University – both in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). For this upcoming fundraising exhibition and the consequent sojourn at Galerie Quynh, the 25 inox tubes are to be arranged in another new configuration, featuring a diverse range of engravings: from mythology-based comics, recreations of traditional phoenix motifs, photographic snapshots of moments historic and everyday, to cartographic drawings, musical notations, or handwritten experimental poetry.
Hung Viet Tran (b. 1973, Saigon, Vietnam) is a transmedia artist and filmmaker who works through multiple channels – covering web-based media, video, installation, performance, architecture, sculpture, photography, and drawing – to create interactive, transformative art that lives in public spaces. Most often, Tran’s work engages the general public as participants and collaborators who contribute to the creation of artworks. Through this open creative process, Tran hopes to transform the public’s relationship with art into one based on spontaneous experiences, wherein responses to the artworks can highlight personal choices in embracing or rejecting historical, political, and social issues in their communities.
Tran’s work has been exhibited nation-wide and internationally, including in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). His public and participatory projects have taken shape throughout the United States and Asia. He has also held solo exhibitions at ACME. and PØST galleries in Los Angeles, and has had his films screened at the Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena, California). Tran is a Co-founder and former Co-director of Crockett Rodeo – a contemporary art gallery in Seattle, Washington (1996-97). The artist has received grants and awards from the Black Rock Arts Foundation (2013), Denmark Embassy Cultural Development & Exchange Fund (2012), Long Beach Artist Fellowship (2009), and Skowhegan Artist Fellowship (1996). Tran splits his time between Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City.