The Fragile frontier

Opening: 28.12.2006 
Exhibition on view until 16.01.2007
Location: Sàn Art
23 Ly Tu Trong, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City



This exhibition attempts to explore, together with Sai Gon street artists, the significance of graffiti as a strategy, formally and conceptually, within the different structures that desire to control it, claim it, co-opt it, adapt it and even eliminate it. What happens dialectically when an artistic technique like the Dadaist’s “Exquisite corpse” is collapsed with street aesthetics, which deals with temporality on a daily basis.

The exhibition consists of two works. The first, entitled “Exquisite Graffiti” is a series of  three large paintings created by three artists living in Sai Gon. These artists have been invited to produce paintings “collaboratively” based on their connection to and past workings with spray paint. Using the Dadaist’s “Exquisite Corpse” drawings as a point of departure, these three artists have been given one canvas each to produce a painting using spray paint. After completion, each canvas was given to another artist in the group to produce a painting on top of the painting that exists. This process happens three times, resulting in three paintings that have all been painted on and over by all the artists involved. Some layers of paintings have been completely covered while others have been kept visible and built upon. The evolution of these paintings was documented through digital photography and edited into a video projected onto a wall in the gallery.

“Reminiscent”, the other piece in the show is an installation of approximately 50 fluorescent-orange colored pieces of acrylic hung from the ceiling, suspended about 2 cm from the wall. Each acrylic plate measures 20cm x 12cm and has a “tag” [signature] of street artists currently active in the street art/graffiti art scene in Sai Gon.