Feature: Imagining the past of a future by ARCUS project

ARCUS Project present “Imagining the past of a future” – a travelogue that presents a conversation between internationally acclaimed artists Takamine Tadasu and Tiffany Chung, and emerging artists Nguyen Phuong Linh and Kimura Taihei as they travel together through Ho Chi Minh City and Ninh Thuan (2014), and Ibaraki and Fukushima (2015). Exploring the notion of traveling and seeing as a way of obtaining knowledge, the project aims to encourage discussions between artists from different cultures and backgrounds as well as between artists and communities when confronting the physical landscape of a locality and how it has effected the formation of a place and of a community’s identity. As the artists travel and learn, the project will deepen and further their discussions into the social and economic changes that transform places spatially and culturally – e.g. a commune with a past or one with an imaginary future – even going as far as dissecting the past of that future through the mirror reflection of the other’s past.

Imagining the past of a future travelogue is developed and organized by Tiffany Chung and ARCUS Project, the oldest residency program in Japan that supports promising artists who engage in creative activities across the world, and also to promote Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan through art in the past 20 years. In this particular travelogue edition, ARCUS has invited two teams of artists, one from Vietnam and the other Japan by pairing an established artist with an emerging one from each country. ARCUS encourages the two teams of artists to explore ideas and concepts for possible future exhibitions as the result of their travelogue. With this new project, ARCUS aims to encourage cultural exchange and the sharing of ideas through collaborating with art organizations and artists in the countries of ARCUS’ past resident artists.

This project is supported by Japan Foundation Asia Center, Japan. The first public talk, which takes place on the 15th of December 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is supported by Galerie Quynh and San Art. The talk will be conducted in English with Vietnamese translation. Tiffany Chung will be moderating the discussion.

About Tadasu Takamine: Tadasu Takamine is one of the most controversial, thought provoking, irreverent media, video and installation artists working in Japan today. He is a frequent collaborator with other performance artists, such as the influential artist collective Dumb Type. Takamine’s individual performance and moving image works engage almost masochistic levels of endurance and frequently focus on sexuality, humanity and the body. Takamine has been an artist-in-residence at Jerusalem Center for the Visual Arts, Banff Center for the Arts and Saw Video Centre for the Media Arts, Ottawa. He has exhibited extensively throughout Asia, North America and Europe, as well as Australia, Israel, Mexico and South Africa. His acclaimed video ‘God Bless America’ was exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 2003 (excerpt from http://www.houseonfire.eu/tadasu-takamine).

About Tiffany Chung: Tiffany Chung is one of Vietnam’s most prominent artists. Her work examines conflict, migration, urban progress and transformation in relation to history and cultural memory. Her practice explores the geographical shifts in countries that were traumatized by war, human destruction or natural disaster. Whether Chung’s studies of the growth, decline or disappearance of towns and cities focus on urban development, environmental catastrophe or humanitarian crisis, her ethnographic research and interviews often play into her re-narrations of historical sites. Chung has exhibited in major museums and biennials internationally including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nimes, France; Centre de Cultura Conteporània de Barcelona, Spain; ARKO Museum, Seoul, Korea; Kuandu Biennale, Taipei, Taiwan; Singapore Biennale; and Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia. She was awarded the Sharjah Biennial Artist Prize in 2013.

About Taihei Kimura: Born in 1986 in Saitama, Japan, Taihei Kimura received his MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts. One of Japan’s most promising young artists, Kimura creates sculptural installations and performances created by deliberate demolition – vehicles falling from the ceiling, electric motors ripped apart by centrifugal force, bombs exploding inside a transparent resin structure. Puzzling, raw, and honest, his works are not only the result of careful research on architecture and physics, but also an evolving process of experimentation. Through a variety of works that entertain the idea of energy explosion and destruction, Kimura highlights the vulnerability of our everyday existence, the thin line between the survival of the material world and its complete eradication. Kimura’s major exhibitions include “End of war in the decade of the 2010s,” eitoeiko, Tokyo (2012); “At Art Uwajima,” Situationally, Ehime (2013); “The Cosmology of Sculpture,” Art gallery at Kanazawa College of Art, Kanazawa (2013); and “Fujinoyama Biennale 2014,” Shizuoka (2014). He was also selected as the guest Japanese artist for ARCUS Project residency program in 2012.

About Nguyen Phuong Linh: Born in 1985 in Hanoi where she is also based, Nguyen Phuong Linh explores themes of sexuality and femininity, transformation and the ephemeral in her art. Her work is often both sensual and sexual, humble and exalted. In her recent work, the artist examines the traces of personal and collective memories as they are experienced across geographical boundaries. Her minimalistic artworks allude to the past, blurring deeply personal memories and national histories. Phuong Linh has participated in many exhibitions with recent solo shows at 3147966 cm3 mobile gallery in Thailand and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan. She has also held international artist residencies with organizations such as Seoul Art Space, Korea, Kaman Art Foundation, Rajasthan, India and The Luggage Store, San Francisco, California, USA.

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