Everything illuminated

Opening: 06.08.2009 
Exhibition on view until 24.09.2009
Location: Sàn Art
3 Me Linh
District Binh Thanh
Ho Chi Minh City



In ‘Everything Illuminsated’, six artists respond to selected works by three senior Vietnamese photographers, Chu Chi Thanh, Doan Cong Tinh and Vo An Khanh. These three men were soldiers during the Vietnam War, photographically documenting the horror, but more poignantly illustrating the resilience of those who were living the battle of war strategy at this time. For instance, in one work by Vo Anh Khanh, we see women walking in single file, their heads covered in eerie white cloth in an attempt to disguise their identity as they walk bare-foot over a make-shift log bridge through the dense jungle of southern Vietnam. San Art sought responses to these historical works from photographers based locally and abroad, their contemporary reflections of this traumatic period illuminating the absence or presence of these memories in contemporary life. For example, in the work of Thach Thao, upturned chairs, at times broken or carefully stacked, have been captured as they have been found, their function or use left questioned due to the absence of people in these images. Thach Thao references Chu Chi Thanh’s image of a bombed residential neighborhood, an image equally begging the purpose and results of human action and presence. ‘Everything Illuminated’ brings two generations of artists together, attempting to engage the legacy of Vietnam’s war-time past, to transform its memory into new articulations.