MẠO KHÊ COAL MINE PROJECT 2001-2014
Mạo Khê Coal Mine project documents a creative camp initiated by Tran Luong in 2001, where he invited 11 visual artists from Hanoi to participate. In response to the many costly and superficial ‘field trips to make artwork’ organized by public state institutions, Mạo Khê project was a reaction to the bureaucracy that had increased in the local art scene. According to the artist, “After the war, governmental subsidized field trips were more or less picnics for lazy artists on social care. Being called ‘field trips’, they were no different from sitting in the artists’ studios, making up the works because ‘field trip’ or ‘reality’ was censored’. Thus, almost all works were created in a rosy direction, the true breath of life not reflected in art and culture.”
This video follows the artists’ two-week long journey, where they lived and worked under the same conditions as the coal miners in Quang Ninh province. Two channels juxtapose two streams of narratives: past vs. present/ the harsh working conditions vs. the optimistic spirits of the coal miners/ the serious, nervous miner-artists vs. the fun-loving, passionate artists. Using on-site recording footage and personal interviews, Mạo Khê Coal Mine project brings to life a field trip (often called also creative camp) where artists took art outside of its traditional exhibition-room bubble, bringing art to the less privileged, therefore generating debate on ways of living and making art.
Project Curator: Trần Lương
Editor: Trần Lương
Camera: Triệu Minh Hải, Trần Lương, Nguyễn Trí Mạnh, Vũ Thuỵ, Lê Vũ
Technical Assistant: Triệu Minh Hải
Artist Participants: Đinh Công Đạt, Lê Quảng Hà, Hà Trí Hiếu, Đào Anh Khánh, Trần Lương, Phạm Ngọc Minh, Nguyễn Trí Mạnh, Đinh Quân, Lê Hồng Thái, Nguyễn Bảo Toàn, Lê Vũ
English Subtitle: Lê Thuận Uyên
Music: Maryanne Amacher, Trần Lương
Trần Lương (b.1960 in Hanoi, Vietnam) is a performance and visual artist, independent curator, and major figure in creating space for critical contemporary art in North Vietnam. Among the first local artists to experiment with performance and video, his artwork is grounded in local experience. Challenging socio-political legacies and policies that repress individual expression, his work offering moving reflections on the impact of ideology on the body, particularly the internalization of political repression at a young age.
Special Feature: Vietnam
Sunday, 6 November, 2016