Visual symbols in art, anthropology and other sciences – P2

Opening: 16.12.2013 @2pm
Location: USSH
Linh Trung department,
D. Thu Duc, HCMc



Taking examples from the artworks produced in the project ‘Unconditional Belief’, which examines people’s belief in both modern medicine and ideas of the supernatural simultaneously, two artists Truong Cong Tung and Phan Thao Nguyen will showcase how the social, religious, scientific and linguistic icons are transformed and interpreted in form of artworks.

Cong Tung has been investigating the ‘Magic Garden’ in Long An for years. His research results in many questions on people’s conditions, those whose serious diseases cannot be cured by modern sciences and medicine, then be treated with belief and faith. Tung will present his process of making the artworks from found objects, such as soil, termites, wood that he collects in his hometown – Dak Lak province and in the ‘Magic Garden’. Tung is interested in cultural social issues, from local religions, cults, animism, ancient tales and the practice of Protestant or Buddhist belief. During the workshop, Tung will share the connection between his own condition and the broader social issues in his research.

Alternatively, Thao Nguyen’s works concerns architecture, medicine, linguistic and semiotics. From her visual artist’s perspective, these seemingly different disciplines are bound together, sometimes ambiguously so. With the artworks produced not for museum space but for the outdoor areas of Saigon Eye Clinic, Thao Nguyen would like to experiment with the perception and the reception of art when it is presented in a space not built specifically for art.  Thao Nguyen will also introduce her research on Vietnamese script, with hypothesis and fictions around it during the process transforming and constructing modern Vietnamese language.

With the methods of Iconology provided in the first workshop, participants can use it, combine with their own knowledge and experience from anthropology and sociology, in order to discuss and give feedback to the collective’ production.


Through the workshop, Art Labor would like to share their research process in creating the artworks. Social and humanity sciences become the great source for their research and artistic practice. We also look forward to art becoming an inspiration and interesting source for social and humanity sciences.

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This workshop belongs to ‘Unconditional Belief‘, an invited project of Prod/Ponder ,which is part of a large artistic endeavour called ‘Conscious Realities’, initiated and organized by San Art in partnership with Prince Claus Fund.