Sun 28 Jul 2019, 9 am – 5 pm
Saigon Botanical Garden & Zoo
Courtyard of Museum of Flora & Fauna (the yellow house with the vine)
From the organizer:
JUA is the third journey of art labor’s practice starting from 2019. It arises from our fascination with agrarian cultivation from the last century of Vietnam, during which the displacement of plants and human inward and outward Vietnam took place. Here we are interested in Robusta coffee and rice – the two products that mark Vietnam nowadays as global agricultural exporter.
The curiosity began when we tried to understand the debt cycle of Vietnamese farmers, more specifically our parents who are coffee growers on the bygone forestland in the Central Highlands. From jungle supplanting, botany systemization in farming to immigrant movements due to war or economic policies, the displacement applies not just on plants but also human labor. Thus the focus extends to various directions.
JUA is a beautiful word in Jrai language – the minority ethnic living among Viet people in Central Highlands. It indicates a dynamic state varying in between water and air, which can be a stream of water, rainy cloud, a breeze, a breath or wind. It represents climate and nature. Minutely it can describe how the leaves breath. Allegorically it can imply the vaporization of things: land, forest, human, capital, labor, etc.
The exhibition plans to take place in only 1 day, as a happening to feature series of activities. The visitors will have opportunity to try Vietnamese coffee – freshly ground Robusta from the family of Art Labor’s member Truong Cong Tung in Gia Lai and bỏng gạo ống – the pop-rice snack made from the engine that is also used for other farming machines. Coffee paintings, pop-rice sculptures, dyed kites, watercolor comic strip and video art are among the art objects surrounding in the space. Architectural structure is created by covering coffee ground on corrugated iron sheets – the common cheap building material in rural Highlands. Hammock café is set up as resting station for visitors. Consecutive workshops of coffee understanding, kite making and coffee drawing will be held in the exhibition.
Our friends and neighbors from Gia Lai, who have been supporting and collaborating with Art Labor will travel to Saigon to join and conduct these activities.
JUA is a festive day like celebration after the successful harvest!
* The exhibition includes artworks in collaboration with our artist friends: Joan Jonas, Trương Quế Chi, Đỗ Văn Hoàng, Freddy Nadolny Poustochkine and Nhật Q. Võ.
Art Labor receive thoughtful mentorship from artists Joan Jonas, Rirkrit Tiravanija and writer / translator Nguyên Ngọc.
This event cannot take place without generous support from many institutions and individuals. Art Labor express our gratitude to Horizn Discovery Award, LUMA Foundation, Goethe Institut HCMC, ASEF Mobility First, BBright Co. and Mr. Dominique Lasserre.
* Art Labor including Thao-Nguyen Phan, Truong Cong Tung & Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran is an artist collective based in Ho Chi Minh City, who work in between visual arts, social and life sciences in various public contexts and locales. We do not produce single artwork but develop many-year-long journey during which one inspiration is a seed to cultivate. The seed grows – the inspiration expands and bears into rhizome of projects and artworks. www.artlaborcollective.com
* JUA is free entrance and no registration needed. However visitor needs to buy entrance ticket of Saigon Botanical Garden & Zoo to access the exhibition.
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