Hanoi | Solo Exhibition: Poetic Amnesia
Nha San Collective, 15th floor, Hanoi Creative City, 1 Luong Yen
3-7 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday, December 13 – 24
From the organizer:
Poetic Amnesia is an experimentation in creating a half-real and half-fictitious visual experience, in which the viewer embodies the role of Tu Thuc, a Tran dynasty’s mythical figure. Upon entering the exhibition, they would journey through the sphere of the artwork, where boundaries between real time and fictional time, real space and fantastical space become distorted.
Poetic Amnesia is a venture into a figment of Vietnamese history, one that deals with the history of our chu quoc ngu (Vietnam’s romanized script), and both the fantasies and the hard facts entailed. As Phan feels about for the remaining traces of chu quoc ngu‘s celebrated father (the French Jesuit missionary Alexandre de Rhodes), fate brought her to Rome where she was able to read Bento Thien’s handwritten letter to Giovanni Filippo de Marini. In the letter, he recounted Annam’s history through a series of myths, including the My Chau and Trong Thuy romance tale, as a metaphor for the love-hate relationship spanning thousands of generations between Vietnam and China. Inspired by these historical sources, Phan allows herself to lift feet off the ground, to tweak, to affix information and feelings in order to express perception of the multifacetedness of the processes of archiving, altering, erasing, revising and reconstructing human’s memory and their symbolic consciousness.
About the artist
Phan Thao Nguyen (b. 1987, Ho Chi Minh City) has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art in Vietnam. Through literature, philosophy and daily life, she observes ambiguous issues in social convention, history and tradition. An honours graduate from Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts in 2009, four years later Phan Thao Nguyen received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Today, in addition to her work as a multimedia artist, she has joined forces with artist Truong Cong Tung and curator Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran to form Art Labor. This collective explores cross-disciplinary practices and develops art projects that will benefit the local community. Phan Thao Nguyen is expanding her “theatrical fields”, including what she calls ‘performance gesture’ and moving images. She has exhibited widely in Southeast Asia and is a 2016-2017 Rolex Protégée, mentored by internationally acclaimed, New York-based, performance and video artist, Joan Jonas.