Based on their ongoing exploration on using food as material in recreating and photographing natural disasters, ‘The Weather Bureau’ (represented in Saigon by Lena Cobangbang) is prompted by the recent ravage of the Southern islands of Visayas in The Philippines. The overwhelming call for international awareness in coping with climate change and the everyday struggle one faces amidst the crisis brought on by natural disasters and social weathering (wars, economic embargos, economic policies), ‘The Weather Bureau’ decided to make an installation that refers to the tenuous relationship between concepts of survival , preservation and consumption. In this installation the refrigerator is used as a metaphorical and visual platform for their objects and tableaus. Composed of jars of preserved and fermented vegetables and fruits, carved and composed as idyllic postcard rural landscapes; apocalyptic scenarios of cooked food but sealed in the freezer compartment – all is sealed in posterity for their picturesqueness or kept for future consumption. The wealth and diversity of the food culture of Vietnam provides a veritable source for exploration for this artistic duo. Examining ideas of conflict between hunger and waste, amplified further in ‘The Weather Bureau’s physical distance from the current crisis of their homeland, this project cynically refers to general worldwide hunger brought about by social and natural change, which with time, perhaps brings us closer to an apocalypse or total dystopia.
The Weather Bureau’, represented in Saigon by Lena Cobangbang, is in Saigon for one month as part of Prod/Ponder ,part of a large artistic endeavour called ‘Conscious Realities’, initiated and organized by San Art in partnership with Prince Claus Fund.