Events Around the World
The song ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’ by Pete Seeger, heard on repeat as part of the flowers artwork, is listed as one of the top 20 most influencing political songs and an anti-war song from the 60s era. It is inspired by Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel The Quiet Flows the Don, and by three lines of an Ukrainian folk song: ‘where are the flowers, the girls have plucked them. where are the girls, they’ve all taken husbands. where are the men, they’re all in the army.’
Composed of the word ‘flowers’ in rose coloured neon light writing mounted on the simple cardboard box of a popular Vietnamese instant noodle brand, the work exudes a gentle and tender air. the noodle box is nostalgic and humble, an allusion to childhood years in the subsidized period, when the artist’s mother sold coffee and food to earn a living in hard times. Coming out from the box, a small set of headphones play the song like an echo; its sound creating a heady audio essence that emanates from within. Together, in a modest ode, these elements accentuate the interchange between the physical and intangible factors at play in the work, and slowly unfurl the complex notions of beauty and peace.
about the artist:
Tran Minh Duc (b.1982, Vietnam) is a visual artist based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam working with the mediums of performance, photography, collage and installation. through a multidisciplinary approach, Tran seeks to explore collective memory and cultural archives by investigating historical narratives, the effects of colonialism and imperialism, and the lasting impacts of war and migration. He is interested in the interactions between the collective and individual, and the local and the foreign; his work forms a personal interrogation of what it means to be Vietnamese in the intricate fabric of contemporaneity. Tran graduated with a BA in painting from the College of Culture and Arts of Ho Chi Minh City, and has since exhibited widely in Vietnam and internationally. Tran is an alumnus of ACC -- in 2017, he received a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council to be in residence at Art in General in New York City, USA. His artwork flowers was previously exhibited with MoT+++ in 2015, and is part of the Post Vidai, a Vietnamese Art Collection.
Grantee: Tran Minh Duc
Curated by ACC grantee Jinglun Zhu, Ilana Harris-Babou’s solo exhibition "Clean Lines" presents a new installation that draws on the branding strategies of luxury home-goods companies and the language of twentieth-century zoning laws in the US. The installation activates the surfaces and depths of the window display by expanding on the visual tactics and multilayered contents of her previous video work, Red Sourcebook (2018). In this new iteration, Harris-Babou juxtaposes the sleek lines and aspirational rhetoric of home-furnishing advertising with color-coded maps and texts from the exclusionary policies that continue to shape real estate development in the present.
Grantee: Zhu Jinglun
The Performance 'Welcome (Back) to Saigon, We are from Củ Chi' is a multi version performance work by Đức. The work is inspired by a photograph taken at Địa đạo Củ Chi (The Cu Chi Tunnels site) which is posted on Wikipedia information page of this site. The photograph represents 3 ladies getting dressed up in South Vietnamese traditional costume áo bà ba, khăn rằn and green soldier hat showing that they are playing role of Củ Chi guerrillas at the site now became well-known by tourists who come to Saigon. Vietnam and Saigon Ho Chi Minh City specifically in the recent decades of market oriented economy has shown many positive changes but also interferences in social political history, of the past and the presence.
The three young performers in the performance, this time with Performance festival program Transient Creatures taking place in HCMC in June, will state their welcoming message 'Welcome Back to Saigon' to any people who joins the events to start the conversation(s). Even if one is a veteran coming back to Saigon to search for the traces from the past or they are just very young people who make their first trip to Vietnam as well as multi-national cooperations, they are all Welcomed Back to Saigon by three young citizens saying they are from Củ Chi.
Grantee: Tran Minh Duc
Cry Joy Park—Gardens of Dark and Light investigates the history and social landscape of Charleston, a cultural capital of the American South, and an exemplar of its complex opulence and beauty. The exhibition creates an immersive, multi-sensory experience that explores the juxtaposition of utopia and dystopia. Cry Joy Park is an ongoing series of work following Paradise Interrupted, an installation opera conceived, designed, and directed by ACC alumna Jennifer Wen Ma, which made its world premiere at Spoleto Festival 2015.
Grantee: Jennifer Wen Ma
Flowers Gallery is delighted to present the first major UK solo exhibition by New York-based Chinese artist Shen Wei, an ACC alumnus. The exhibition brings together works from several series from 2009 to the present day, incorporating photography and moving image.
Responding to his conservative upbringing in China, Shen Wei’s self-portraits, nudes and sensuous landscape photographs explore notions of identity, memory and sexuality. This exhibition draws connections between the influence of Chinese culture and his own personal process of self-discovery.
Grantee: Shen Wei, Photographer
Alumnus Heng-Gil Han's (ACC 2017), exhibition AN ERA OF PEACE, A PEACEFUL LAND (Somewhere between No. 4 and No. 5: MAKE PEACE BY MEANS OF ART, or ENHANCE PEACE THROUGH ART) opens on May 9 and runs until June 6.
Materializing the idea that peace is not an absence of a hot war, but a living process of interacting with others, while mutually understanding values and perspectives, the exhibition creates a platform for people to engage with one another via creative means. One of many functions that this exhibition serves is the operation of inserting art into the life of society: here is an inquiry into the possibility of a third realm in which art is not a member of a class, nor a fashion or a style, but an active force that makes intercultural or inter-communal connections among people possible. As a result, this exhibition is bound to be in transition from one point to another in time and space, evolving through exchanges and encounters with the artists and the public.
Alejandro Salgado Cendales contributes a text-based painting using a quote from TOWARD A THIRD CINEMA by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, Cinéaste (Vol. 4, No. 3, Latin American militant cinema (winter 1970-71), pp. 1-10). The quote highlights the unity of art and life for the liberation effect of disrupting the post-colonial processes that happen everywhere around the globe in the form of economic and cultural domination and subordination.
Young Sun Han presents a part of his large photographic documentaries of locations visited in Korea, reconstructing poignant narratives of victims and loss caused by the Korean War (1950-53) or the 4.3 Jeju Massacre (April 1948 to May 1949). The series is a reminder of the Korean War or “forgotten war” in the United States, while returning to the Jeju Massacre, a historically misrepresented genocide of Jeju islanders, committed by the South Korean police and armed forces under the control of the United States Military Government.
You Hong Kim shares a portion of his ambitious production of 10,000 paintings entitled Faces of Mind. Here, shapes and forms emerge by association in the artist’s response to intended chance operations, such as dripping, spreading and flowing colors. The outcomes are quirky humorous figures that hide a sense of despair, pain or sadness, reminding of a passage from Tears of a Clown sung by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: “But don’t let my glad expression give you the wrong impression. Really I’m sad, oh I’m sadder than sad.”
Yong Seob Kwon, a specialist for quick drawing in ink, presents four landscape ink paintings from a rare series of work produced on location in outdoor public spaces while the artist was traveling throughout parts of North Korea. Following the Korean tradition of literati ink painting, he often includes short texts in calligraphy within his ink paintings and they enhance viewer’s understanding of the paintings.
The Estate of Dennis Oppenheim generously contributes the Oppenheim’s seminal photograph Reading Position for Second Degree Burn (1970) which is a piece documenting the artist’s body. Challenging the act of painting, in particular to aspects of color, Oppenheim utilized his body as canvas and skin as pigment controlled by time and solar energy. The outcome was the “reversal” of the typical relationship between an artist’s felt energy and the intense color instigated by the former. In his performance, the artist felt the sensory intensity caused by “the act of becoming red.”
Seol Park’s painting fuses the image of an iconic Korean ink painting, After Rain at Mt. Inwang by Jeong Sun in 1751, with today’s urgent relevant issues of refugees from Central America and Syria, connecting dots between seemingly unrelated events, which occupy completely different places in time and space, to create new narratives of contemporary significance.
During his 2014 artist residency on the island of Baekryeong, a maritime demarcation between North and South Korea in the West Sea of Korea, Taesoo Shin produced a scroll depicting the scenic landscape of the renowned ridge, Jansang Got, in a red hue. Located in the North Korean territory, the ridge offers many South Koreans, particularly those originally from the North who were displaced in the South, an ironic sense of both comfort and intense discomfort—being so close, yet so far away.
Connecting the polarities between text and image; tradition and modernity; as well as solidity and fragments, the exhibition presents conditions of global contemporary art that transcends ideological, geographical and cultural boundaries.
This exhibition is generously supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council and are co-hosted with OZANEAUX ArtSpace. The curatorial research of this exhibition was made possible by the generous support from the Asian Cultural Council in New York.
OZANEAUX ArtSpace is a philanthropic, artist-run exhibition/project space created by Nikki Schiro and Frederic Ozaneaux in 2009. It hosts Contemporary Art exhibitions for Artists and Curators in the couple's community. The exhibitions highlight Artists from underrepresented demographics as well as foreign exchange. The gallery is planted in the back end of an accounting office, in the heart of New York City’s Gallery District.
Grantee: Han Heng-Gil