My diary from that battle of 10.000 ships

(BookPage03)-MyDiary-TammyNguyen-intro

Date:

18 October - 18 November, 2010

Opening Time:

18 October @ 6 PM

Location:

L'usine
151/1 Dong Khoi Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City

Gallery Hours:

9 AM - late

ARTISTS

SYNOPSIS

Hosted by L’usine and organized by San Art, this solo exhibition of Ho Chi Minh City based Vietnamese artist, Tammy Nguyen is composed of a series of installations that incorporate drawing, painting and embroidery, this will be the artist’s second solo exhibition in Vietnam.

Working with paper and silk, between thread-work and ink, Tammy Nguyen opens a window upon a battle at sea. Ships of ink travel across large pieces of paper accompanied by figures reminiscent of calligraphic pictograms. These warriors rage across an ocean, losing limbs, skin and bone.

These severed bodies are transformed as anatomical drawings, protected by swathes of stitched thread that have been woven like a healing armor over their disfigurations. These contorted human remnants rest within carved wooden altars, referring not only to that spiritual place of rest, but also the harnessing of an inner emotional endurance.

This is Tammy Nguyen’s imagined diary of battle, of the conquest of 10,000 ships. Perhaps these ships are not only the variety found at sea, but also the battles she faces in contemporary life – as a woman, as an artist, as a daughter, as a friend.

The artist wishes to thank Un-available, a garment manufacturing company based in Ho Chi Minh City for their support of this exhibition.

‘My Diary from that Battle of 10,000 Ships’

Using thread and ink to create a kind of armor for her battling calligraphic subjects, Tammy’s new body of work in this exhibition explores three dimensions in experimental ways, stretching and twisting her characters with cement and string.

This is Tammy Nguyen’s imagined diary of battle, of the conquest of 10,000 ships. Perhaps these ships are not only the variety found at sea, but also the battles she faces in contemporary life – as a woman, as an artist, as a daughter, as a friend.

In the ‘Position’ series, wooden altarpieces represent figures of a family. The parents overlook their children as they prepare to enter the great expansive ocean of the world. Boldly formed in thick gestures of ink overlaid with loose black stitch work, these cherished young figures have bodies unformed, unscathed. They are the innocents. They are individual shrines of hope.

On another wall, a series of ‘Untitled’ large-scale drawings in ink illustrate abstract landscapes. Shapes like pincers; hands clutching knives and substances dissolving through a sieve are depicted, like a series of frantic scientific lab tests. A sculptural ‘Tide Turn’ pushes these transforming figures into new manifestations as a sea cycles its tides of high and low through four light-box windows where these experiments unfold like a chart of life’s progress.

In the series titled ‘Body’, human anatomical images are digitally set onto silk. These dismembered torsos and heads are in the process of contorting and creating their own threaded armor, remembering the hope that set forth their youth. This process of maturity is suggested as violent and explosive as Tammy pulls and curls these siblings into renewed entities.

Mark making has been at the centre of Tammy Nguyen’s art. The gesture of the mark, its energy and speed, is central to her ideas of endurance. Tammy is inspired by the resilience of humanity, particularly the role of women in Vietnamese society (eg. their negotiation of cultural tradition, social expectation and individual aspirations that are deemed problematic due to their gender). Claiming the stitch and the brush as valid and important tools of her technical arsenal as a female artist, she states her experimentation with material, such as cement and silk, is a search for balance between power and sensuality. Though some may think Tammy is influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Tammy asserts Chinese calligraphy and Islamic iconography have been of far greater import.

CURATOR

  • Zoe Butt