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
The Berkshire Art Museum is presenting a group show: “Not Just Another Pretty Picture.” Featured Artists are ACC alumni Firoz Mahmud and Kevin Bubriski, James Allen, Sandra Moore, Saira Wasim, Dan Wolf.
Some artists create for content - and not to make art that looks pretty above the living room couch. Art can be disturbing, but good art prevails. Also exhibiting: “Dark Matter” – Works by the Berkshire Museum Advisory Board Members, and “Death of a Loved One” - 1890s Fashion: Collection of Greg Lafave.” along with ongoing exhibitions from the permanent collection, including Eric Rudd’s huge Iceberg Installation, Robotic Sculpture, and Berkshire Art Museum Annex – A Chapel for Humanity - a massive sculptural epic with 150 life-sized figures, 250 low-relief ceiling figures and a September 11 Memorial Garden, first opened in 2001.
ACC alumnus Trần Minh Đức was born 1982, nearly 7 years after the American War (internationally known as Vietnam War) in Ho Chi Minh City (formal name was Saigon pre 1975), Vietnam. Đức grows up with his none understanding of the wartime and only with random stories from his own family relatives, grandparents and parents who directly got involved in such time. Along with his own memories with changes every day every year in the largest city in Vietnam located in the South side of Vietnam, war remnants to him were redesigned war objects to be household facilities within family, neighborhood playgrounds with friends at not yet renovated center of city's streets and tastes of out of expiry date foods and sweets.
Trần later joined and graduated from College of Culture and Arts of HCMC. Practising and experimenting as a visual artist in the city with the slow growth of contemporary art flows, he more and more put more interest to the narration of history by informal resources of information, word of mouth tales and shared personal memories.
During this 3 month time in Jeju Island, Đức put himself's view at a position of a Vietnamese child who was born after Vietnam War, seeing hearing reading information lines about Jeju 4.3 incident, with the end of WW2 that happened with the involvement of the Japanese, the American the Russian then later the split of North and South Korea - which is similar to Vietnam’s situation in the past.
The composition of the exhibition - presentation is with installations of found objects from Vietnam war surplus market and recorded sounds and voices of survivors in videos displayed at Jeju 4.3 Peace Park Museum. The most visible visual is created by the parachutes bought from war surplus market located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, they are parachutes from illuminating flare remnants. The are sold in the market by vendeurs with introduction of specific words for Vietnam War objects aiming to collectors and foreign tourists. With his project, Đức colors all the parachutes into pink color as an action of putting layer upon history stories and objects, it is like the aims of war market vendeurs of making stories on all products that they sell whatever that are true or false. That is also similar to history and all what happened in the past, there are always lies and truths, also secrets that are hidden to all people that we all could not find the answer.
The presentation of art works is like a wish of harmony between places and spaces, where there would be no separation of geography border nor discrimination of colors and symbol of festive occasion, places and spaces where at spring time, pink flowers would blossom everywhere with the great harmony of happiness.
Grantee: Tran Minh Duc
Vantage Point Sharjah 7
6 July—6 October 2019
Gallery 1 & 2, Al Mureijah Square
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Art Museum
Vantage Point Sharjah 7 (VPS7) is the seventh iteration of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual photography initiative. The open call was extended not only to residents of the UAE and other GCC countries but also to international applicants. This initiative aims to foster photographers’ development and creativity and encourage their engagement with the wider cultural community.
Over 200 applicants with a variety of professional backgrounds, skill sets and interests, responded to VPS7 open call. The exhibition features the work of 36 photographers from over 20 countries, including Republic of Congo, France, Nigeria, Sudan, Russia, South Africa, United States of America and the United Arab Emirates among others. The selected photographs offer viewers a unique perspective on various subjects by using different styles, such as conceptual photography, street photography, land and cityscapes and portraiture. These images further demonstrate a wide range of techniques in both digital and 35mm photography, such as montage, collage, archival reconstruction, infrared and light painting.
The foundation announced its first open call for submissions during the summer of 2013, inviting GCC-based photographers to submit works that fell under the theme ‘Life and Landscapes of Sharjah’. Themes of other Vantage Point exhibitions have included ‘Self-Portraiture’, ‘Performance’ and ‘Architecture and Urban Landscape’.
Grantee: Firoz Mahmud
The Topography of Living
In describing boundaries, the works of artists Ged Merino and Aze Ong refer to the qualities of textile and thread - fibrous. Boundaries are fibrous in structure and in system. They are constructs emerging from personal, cultural, and political domains spun together into solid lines on the maps. And like these solid lines they are drawn to suggest and identify, but in reality, never to actually define. Exploring boundaries through fabric and thread is a method of contrasts. Fiber diffuses as much as it filters. Ged and Aze ask: what are the limits of boundaries?
The artistic practices of Ged and Aze are as much narrative as they are material. Their experiences of a life in transit has them familiar with a particular kind of map, one that grows, shrinks and changes through footsteps that are not always their own. Ged’s work draws from the metamorphic act of memory, where fabric both protects and changes the current experience of the past. Aze’s work is experiential in its dynamic forms, enacted through the dedication in her craft and the further layers she creates in her performance. Both artists incorporate external elements into their work: found objects, other people’s objects of recollection and images.
Steadfastly rooted in the condition of living, the artists navigate and create spaces of exchange ever-present at the edge of the boundaries. In their work, each stitch is a wall as much as a window, and every thread a line of connection.
“Stitching Boundaries “is made possible by a grant from the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York State Dept. of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council
with support from The Drawing Room Contemporary Art and The National Commision for Culture and the Arts
Grantee: Aze Ong
A collaboration by Ged Merino and Aze Ong both working with textiles "The GedAze Project" creating an interactive and immersive installation of an imaginary map using crochet, knotting and repurposed textiles incorporating photo images of "Places-Objects-Relationships-Memories via a participatory process through social media. A performance by Aze Ong using her crocheted installations will activate the opening exhibit
"Stitching Boundaries" is made possible by the Queens Council of The Arts from The New York City City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council with support from the Drawing Room Contemporary Art
Grantee: Aze Ong
Vinson Fraley and Tajee will meet in a hotel room in Manhattan. The two complete strangers will perform action scripts on designated hours. A photographer will be in the room to document their actions, freeze the time, and design an unhindered flying route for future viewers. “The first time I entered the room, it did not feel real, it felt like I was in a dream, like none of it was happening.” Ghost Mountain Ghost Shovel and Aaron Thompson met every Monday for interviews in Brooklyn Public Library or at the café in a supermarket. The interviews were written on a rather tiny notebook. Once, Thompson took out five dollar bills with an identical serial number. He used one of them to pay for frosted donuts as snacks and signed his name on another. Another live scene within the live scene, we discuss the ruins of control. The room can be traversed and could have been practical to learn the art of storm avoidance.
Commissioned by Taipei Performing Arts Center, directed by ACC alumna Val Au-sen Lee.
Grantee: Lee Au-sen
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