Dec 10 2020

Ngo Dinh Bao Chau at VCCA, Hanoi, Vietnam: December 18, 2020 – February 28, 2021

Curated by artist Le Thiet Cuong, Ask at the Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA) features work by Ngo Dinh Bao Chau, Tran Van An, Quach Bac, Nguyen Tran Cuong, Do Hiep, Trinh Cam Nhi, Thai Nhat Minh, Vu Binh Minh, and Luong Van Viet.

Ngo Dinh Bao Chau is exhibiting new works from The Extracts.

The Extracts is an ongoing series of works that I began making in 2014. The works are made from various media such as acrylic on paper, watercolour on paper, and acrylic and oil on canvas. Like a visual diary, I record the images I find on the internet, images of events or just of daily life, images from memory…

“Each work is to me like a phrase, which over time combine to make sentences, paragraphs, or even a book on the times in which I live.

“The works in this exhibition are of blurry landscapes painted at different times, which were then forcefully grafted onto polycarbonate roofing sheets, a building material. I made these works after experiencing the horrific flooding of central Vietnam. Here, the paintings are artistic artefacts that accompany a common material; they remind one of human life, and create a landscape of non-innocence.”

– excerpt from Ngo Dinh Bao Chau’s artist statement

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Dec 01 2020

Ngo Dinh Bao Chau at San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: December 3 2020 – January 9, 2021

Curated by Nguyễn Phước Bảo Châu, Artistic Director of the Dogma (Contemporary Art) Prize, Am I Superwoman? features works by Lêna Bùi, Ngô Đình Bảo Châu, and Xuân Hạ. The exhibition retrospectively analyses the glorifying portrayal of Vietnamese female figures in Vietnamese Socialist idealism according to the Ba đảm đang virtues (dutiful Home-maker, Worker, and Fighter); and in the other, introspectively delves into the intimate interpretations of femininity by contemporary female artists. The artists’ multidisciplinary works serve to explore woman sacrifice, to redefine individualistic feminine values, and examine the outsiders’ gaze on the female body. Bringing the two together allows a comparative reflection between myth and reality, collective idealism and personal characters concerning female roles.

In response to these questions, the contemporary artworks of the female artists display their own realities and distinctive beliefs. [...] Ngô Đình Bảo Châu’s act of stripping away vibrant colors and pulling apart a sculpture titled “Victory” that she installed ten years ago at Sàn Art’s former space to celebrate female heroism, reflects her personal evolution and conscious attempt to decline the given virtuous titles she no longer aspires to bear.

[...] What remains of a sacred monument are scattered mementos: a carved wooden frame carrying memories that have seemed to fade away – a modest shrine; a commonplace neon signboard reminiscing an expired item – a deconstructed pedestal. Such are reminders of our mortality, of mourning, of mundane life and a claim of an irony: relentless pursuit of elevating a symbol to new height whilst shouldering a hefty burden – a rejection of a title! Such is Châu’s inquisition into the realm between symbolism and truth, between illusion and authenticity, in the manners that certain hero/ine are presented, as seen in propaganda, where mystified figures are projected onto real bodies.

Exhibition Text: Nguyễn Phước Bảo Châu

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Feb 12 2020

Vo Tran Chau at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: February 14 – April 10, 2020

Võ Trân Châu, one of the very few artists in Vietnam merging methods of weaving, photography and textile, is presenting her largest solo show to date at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre. Her new work explores the notion of a ‘heritage’, retrieving and rethinking what defines the legacies of History.

Võ Trân Châu has worked with fabric for many years, a primary material within this exhibition. For the last two years, Châu has been collecting garments that were dumped in unidentified containers scattered around docks in Saigon, particularly Cát Lái dock. Võ Trân Châu recalls feeling puzzled by the excessive production of the fashion industry and its impact on the environment, particularly on developing countries who are the major production houses of the industry. The artist questions the consequences of developing’ at all costs, she said in an informal interview: “Monetary gains have blinded people. Will we be able to see the soul of a city anymore?… What will be left of a city if not its cultural identity?”

For the works featured in this exhibition, Võ Trân Châu recycles these unwanted clothes by transforming them into a number of hanging mosaic ‘paintings’, many of them depicting sites that no longer exist, such as textile factories in Nam Định, Saigon Tax Trade Center, Trà Cổ cathedral, to name but a few. Working with the digital photographs of these sites, Châu turns these photographs into pixel graphs, which she uses as a foundation to recreate mosaics by sewing color-coded fabric squares together. By reconstructing architectural structures and symbols that have completely or partially disappeared from public memory, the artist contemplates how cultural identity is pictured and remembered. This exhibition is a journey of remembering lost things, weaving memories in a craft-based manner – a meticulously gradual process in contrast to the speed of disappearance of historical architecture in the face of urban development.

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Feb 10 2020

Xem Collective at Sa Sa Art, Phnom Penh, Cambodia: February 20 – April 10, 2020

Interface presents new works by the art collective XEM for the first time in Phnom Penh. XEM was formed in 2013 by five friends and artists – Quang Lam, Hoang Duong Cam, Phan Quang, Nguyen Thanh Truc and UuDam Tran Nguyen – through a shared passion for photography. While each member works independently on their respective practices, the group regularly produces a self-funded publication, also titled XEM, an experimental platform for practicing and sharing photography and related forms of artworks.

In the exhibition, physical works by each of the five artists take forms extending from their presentation in the magazine. The works presented here by XEM deal with not only what separates us but also what bonds and unites us. The very same things can produce multiple complex effects. Whether the interaction between humans and technology, the tension of political borders between sovereign states, conflicts among humans, the slippage of perception of reality, they are an in-between space, an interface that results in us.

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Dec 01 2019

Vo Tran Chau at Culture Space Yang, Jeju, South Korea: December 3 – 29, 2019

Vo Tran Chau is currently exhibiting a new body of work in the solo exhibition Let clouds fly away at Culture Space Yang in Jeju, South Korea.

Made of used clothes sent to Vietnam by developed nations (including South Korea), Chau’s textile mosaics were inspired by the oral histories told to her by local villagers while she was an artist-in-residence in Jeju. In particular, Chau found in the stories of an elderly woman a life that represented an entire village – from the Jeju Massacre (1948 – 1954) to regime changes to the migration of the islanders to North Korea. Chau poetically memorializes a tragic history and gives voice to stories that should no longer remain silent.

Patiently dyeing each piece of fabric by hand and employing the traditional Jeju technique using persimmons, Chau could observe the gradual change in color and experience the roughness of the fabrics – “a metaphor for the natural mechanisms of self-defense humans adopt under harsh conditions,” Chau states. “Persimmons were everywhere in Jeju. The color is similar to the color of soil which envelops and nourishes people but also serves as witness and caretaker of the bodies in mass graves…”.

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Sep 25 2019

Lien Truong awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s ‘Painters & Sculptors Grants’: September 25, 2019

The annual Painters & Sculptors Grants, first awarded in 1994, provide unrestricted funds of $25,000 each to a diverse group of 25 artists. Selected through a tiered process of nomination and jurying, these grants seek to recognize artists who are making exceptional work, who are deserving of greater acknowledgment on a national level, and who will benefit from the recognition and funding that the award provides.

Over the last 26 years, the Painters & Sculptors Grants have supported more than 500 artists in communities across the US, often at crucial times in their career. By providing unrestricted funds, we give grant recipients the freedom to decide how best to further develop their work and careers.

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Jul 05 2019

‘Where the Sea Remembers’ – The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, CA, USA: July 13 – October 12, 2019

Where The Sea Remembers is a project—comprised of an exhibition, a program series, and a website—that explores contemporary art in and about Vietnam through the practices of artists who live and work there and across its diasporas. This project marks the launch of an institutional initiative aimed at fostering exchanges and collaborations between The Mistake Room and independent peer institutions in Vietnam. The goal of this work is to create opportunities that cultivate and support an emerging generation of Vietnamese artists, writers, and curators in order to encourage the creation of scholarship that expands what we know about local and regional art histories and how we come to know it.

The result of ongoing conversations with artist friends and colleagues in Vietnam and others living elsewhere who are invested in the country’s artistic communities, Where The Sea Remembers is conceived as the starting point of an inquiry rather than its culmination. As such, it acknowledges and embraces its incompleteness in an attempt to re-imagine the function of the regionally-based exhibition format. Conscious that exhibitions have often throughout history been put to the service of nation-building, Where The Sea Remembers thinks of the nation not as a static geographic locale or even a diasporic imaginary but rather as a complex set of tense and evolving individual relationships between people and their ideas of a homeland. Thus, the artworks in the show and the contributions of program participants and commissioned writers are gathered as a dispatch of multiple perspectives rather than as a defining survey.

Sandrine Llouquet, Ngo Dinh Bao Chau, Trong Gia Nguyen, Nguyen Phuong Linh, Truc-Anh, Truong Cong Tung and Vo Tran Chau are among the 15 artists participating in the exhibition.

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May 05 2019

Truong Cong Tung at Crédakino – Le Crédac, Paris, France: May 15 – 26, 2019

Truong Cong Tung is presenting Across the Forest and Portrait of a deforming symbol. Lost and found at Crédakino – a projection space within Le Crédac, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry, Paris, France. Curated by the artist Thu Van Tran, the film program called D’un Sud-Est vers un autre Sud-Est also features film and video by Trương Minh Quý (and Freddy Nadolny Poustochkine), Quynh Dong, Truong Que Chi and Dimitris Tsoumplekas.

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May 03 2019

Ha Manh Thang at National Art Museum of China, Beijing: May 10 – 26, 2019

Ha Manh Thang’s Fading Spring 6 has been acquired by the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). The work is currently being featured at the museum in an exhibition showcasing 130 artworks created by 120 artists from 41 countries.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a seminar on Asian art where experts and scholars will explore the history of the development of the arts in Asian countries and share their visions for exchanges of culture and arts among different countries.

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Apr 20 2019

Lien Truong at Artspace, Raleigh, NC, USA: April 26 – June 22, 2019

The Sky is Not Sacred features Lien Truong’s Translatio Imperii miniatures together with a video collaboration with artist Hong-An Truong.

Exploring themes of colonialism, landscape, memory, heritage, and war, this rich body of work investigates the complexities of personal experiences, geo-political history, poetry and visual culture.

Truong examines the effects of war and imperialist history on notions of heritage, nostalgia, and home. Laser cut lines of poetry in both English and Vietnamese, overlay two red oval landscapes, one depicting Vietnamese mountains and the other a recreation of an iconic Albert Bierstadt painting of the American west. For Truong, “the works look at the personal connections of landscape, poetry and the resonating geographic location one calls home.”

By examining the ways that art, landscape, and war have been used to assert cultural and national hierarchies, Truong subverts linear assertions and provides a highly complex vision of human experience.

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