The monsoonal season may be shedding its skin of water every afternoon here in Saigon but that doesn’t mean we can’t look to another idea of time in the world and consider its also ‘Summer’ to some.
This galleria showcase focuses on ideas of heat, light and transformation and includes the ‘Lotusland’ of celebrated artist and San Art co-founder, Dinh Q Le with his tiny figurine shrine to the victims of Agent Orange. The symbolic presence of the lotus as a sign of re-birth is echoed in the work of Ngoc Nau, whose ‘Blinded girl in the word of light’ walks a landscape blooming into photographic existence with its speckled growth of light. Nguyen Huu Tram Kha and Truong Cong Tung comment on the internal and external worlds of birth and enlightenment in the metaphorical picturing of energy as human reproductiveness and transformation, respectively working in soft sculpture and hand drawn illustrations. Photographer Phan Quang looks to the mythologies of birth in Vietnam with his staged performers placed under specially constructed bamboo sculptures who look towards the sea and the mountains, recalling the birthing legend of Au Co and Lac Long Quan. Le Hoang Bich Phuong adapts the traditional folk stories of the past in producing her own transformations of animal and human, her careful silk-ink paintings a delicate reminder of the fragility in the human desire for change. Sandrine Llouquet pushes transformation one step further by thinking of how technology is another form of light and knowledge, taking us on a futuristic journey with her installation of tiny red ladies in a possible ritual of respect.
Finally the weavings of Tran Xuan Anh with her interwoven layers of white dried paint – her ‘painting’ is a careful textured surface or perhaps a blast of white light, a blank space, a new beginning.
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