This special feature is unique to Embedded South(s), an additional supplement to Conscious Realities thematics, curated to give unfamiliar audiences a wider perspective of an artist’s role in society in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, a nation that has undergone a myriad of interweaving socio-political shifts and cultural influences (French colonial occupation, Vietnam War, establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1975 eg.), where its artists have endured and witnessed the great impact of political upheaval on the motivation, definition and value of artistic production - a history that continues to determine and control official Vietnamese understandings of art today.
This Special Feature offers a chronology of the development of a modern and contemporary Vietnamese art, through the lens of documentary and montage, by two renowned contemporary Vietnamese artists. Three works each examine three differing time periods: the war against the French (1946-1954) when artists were also seen as soldiers in the battlefield of socialist ideologies, uplifting the nationalist and anti-imperialist spirit with sketches of non-violence (seen in Light and Belief: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War by Dinh Q Lê); the dilemma of a newly independent state post 1954, when artists struggled to reconcile their creative minds with an encroaching communist party control of freedom of expression (exemplified in Vision and Darkness: Tran Trung Tin by Dinh Q Lê); and finally the aftermath of Doi Moi (economic reforms instituted in 1986) when artists began to experiment with a community-oriented approach to artistic work, to question the state’s fabricated historical narrative, blending both realism and abstraction (analyzed in Mạo Khê Coal Mine Project by Trần Lương). It is important to provide the artistic perspectives from both North (Trần Lương) and South (Dinh Q Lê) Vietnam, two distinctly different artistic communities as a consequence of historical political divide, but particularly between these two artists, showcasing the indelible imprint of their personal experiences - of one who remained in Vietnam following the Vietnam War (Trần Lương) and of another who fled as a boat refugee (Dinh Q Lê).
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
ORDER OF SCREENING
|DINH Q LÊ (VIETNAM)
|Light and Belief: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War
|DINH Q LÊ (VIETNAM)
|Vision in Darkness: Tran Trung Tin
|TRẦN LƯƠNG (VIETNAM)
|Mạo Khê Coal Mine Project