Poetic Politic: a Sàn Art exhibition
Ten voices theatrically captured with the camera lens illustrating the diasporic reflections of contemporary Vietnam and Cambodia by artists KHVAY Samnang, An My LÊ, Dinh Q LÊ, NGÔ Dình Trúc, Uudam NGUYEN, PHAN Quang, Phunam, VANDY Rattana, TRAN Minh Duc and VÕ An Khánh. A group exhibition of contemporary photography, video and documentary, “Poetic Politic” is curated by Zoe Butt and co-organized by KADIST, San Francisco and Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City.
Zoe Butt, Curator and Director of Sàn Art asks, “What does it mean to live in a country like Vietnam whose streets boast the booming voice of communist capitalism and yet the family lounge room still echoes with the memory of war? What does it mean to live in a country where traditional art forms lacking innovation struggle for contemporary relevance; where cultural curricula and public event lament the era before the Khmer Rouge wiped out intellectual life, or before Communist propaganda replaced one’s right to freedom of speech? What does it mean to possess ethnic and cultural attachment to a country whose complex memory you better recall through trauma, image and text rather than a current lived perspective? The use of photography and video by artists from Vietnam and Cambodia poetically captures the contradictions and inconsistencies of belonging, living or dreaming about contexts they are intrinsically connected and yet perhaps, also removed. What is evident in this collection of works is the power of mobility providing reflective perspective on the social state of play in communities these artists share, care and relate. From the theatre of war, territorial conquest, the pressure to politically conform and acquiesce to authority; to the touristic monopolies and mythological superstitions that perpetuate popular cultural stereotype – this exhibition is a glimpse of the talent that visually and metaphorically rephrases the presence of a political voice.”
Special thanks to the following people and organizations for their support of this exhibition: Moira Roth; Erin Gleeson, Sa Sa Bassac, Phnom Penh; PPOW Gallery, New York; Murray Guy, New York; and Nhung Le and Tran Minh Duc, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City.
About Sàn Art
Sàn Art is Vietnam’s most active, independent, artist-initiated, non-profit contemporary art space and reading room, based in Ho Chi Minh City. Established in 2007, Sàn Art (‘san’ meaning ‘platform’) is dedicated to the exchange and cultivation of contemporary art in Vietnam. Supporting the country’s thriving artist community, Sàn Art provides exhibition space, educational and residency programs, facilitating a meeting place for local and international creative engagement and exchange. www.san-art.org