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
Sentro Rizal Washington DC is pleased to invite you to a reception to formally open Intersection, the latest solo exhibition of internationally-renowned Filipino stoneware potter Hadrian Mendoza, on Tuesday, 25, June 2019, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building.
This event marks Mendoza’s 29th solo exhibition as he explores themes such as the intersection of cultures, materials, people and lines. Mendoza has lived in the Philippines and in the United States as his works reflect a common ground between both cultures.
Bloom, the main installation in the exhibition is composed of intersecting lines made of dirt and porcelain flowers. A figure pouring a watering can nurtures the growth of the budding flowers. This recreation of the bulol rice terrace god is an installation about the positive impact he has as a teacher tending to his students, which are represented by porcelain flowers. The lines made of dirt that intersect at several points represent cultures, ideas and people crossing paths. After being back and forth between the Philippines and the US, the artist also sees this installation as a map composed of roads that he has travelled.
Hadrian has also created a series of busts and large sculptures of heads. Some have 2 faces, one on each side having different emotions. In one particular piece titled Intersection, a face with orthodontic braces has lines embossed on the top of its head. These intersecting lines represent our thoughts and decisions, all crossing at different points. The emotion on its face shows tension, similar to the tension created by tightening one’s braces.
Dangerous Flower, a series of 12 bulbous forms depict the stages of a flower in bloom. The forms speak of the dichotomy between danger and beauty coexisting in one piece. Tusk-like porcelain protrusions grow from the bulbs in intricate spiral and circular designs. The series represents growth, which is evident in the transformation of the porcelain tusks.
Filipino themes are also explored in this collection with themes that include the Ifugao bulol rice terrace gods of the northern region in the Philippines. The bulol are believed to contain spirits that ensure abundant harvests and protection from natural catastrophe. The Manunggul jar also serves as inspiration for Mendoza. The Manunggul jar is a secondary burial jar that was found in the Tabon caves in Palawan. Mendoza’s interpretation of the jar is represented by a circle on a plinth with the boat and two figures on top. The exhibition also includes functional wares such as Ikebana jars, bowls, and tea sets.
Grantee: Hadrian Mendoza
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