Recreating Desire

Recreating Desire

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16 Oct – 27 Nov 2020
289e Nguyễn Công Trứ, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City

From the organizer:

‘Recreating Desire’ is a collaborative show that unites the work of Saigon-based photographers Annie Dang and Ariel Cameron.

This is a continuation from ‘I Feel at Home Among These Questions’ that was exhibited at QUA. in Hanoi in July of this year.

There will be exclusive handmade art books featuring the artist’s work available to buy on the night, along with other zines from Hanoi based creatives.

QUA. is a mobile arts group supporting creatives based in Vietnam. We work in partnership with other local organisations and venues to connect artists, host exhibitions and events. Our resources include the Hanoi Zine Library, Hanoi Art Map and Made in Vietnam Zine.

QUA. opened its first venue on the ground floor of Hanoi Rock City in September 2019. In the year we occupied the space we worked on building a community centre for artists and creatives in Hanoi. We hosted regular exhibitions, discussions, film screenings, workshops and worked in partnership with local groups and charities. Following the first wave of the virus we became a mobile arts group and intend to work in collaboration with other venues throughout Vietnam setting up shows and events for the foreseeable future.

Annie Dang

Part visual interpretation of an Eileen Myles poem, part exploration of its themes which resonate with me through their headstrong yet sensual execution. The short lines convey a meandering playfulness that ultimately builds up to a quietly eruptive celebration of discovery and the little moments that reveal and connect us to our selves. I chose the Mekong Delta as the setting for these images because it is the site of many childhood memories. There is something exhilarating about revisiting familiar territory with renewed freshness and curiosity each time, stitching together layers of experiential landscapes in order to anchor myself to the continuously expanding desires of the present. In this vision, devotion looks like finding sweetness in the simple act of making a cup of tea, then again the next day.

Annie Dang is a Vietnamese American photographer currently based in Saigon. Her work examines the facets of identity that flourish within spaces of intimacy, discomfort, and isolation. She is particularly interested in rituals of the everyday that allow us to extract pleasure and meaning from process rather than product, chasing the confrontations that make sacred our search for human connection. She also enjoys late nights, summer fruits, and playing with insects.

Ariel Cameron

This series is a visual poem of my life this year – intertwining images taken in the south of Vietnam with those taken in the far north of Queensland, Australia. After three years abroad, Covid_19 and an ill timed flight brought me back to Australia; my life and days in Vietnam becoming like a distant dream as the months passed by. In this state I began to bring together images that explore two tropical landscapes, which are far apart, but draw me in. Much like when the narrator in Eileen Myles’s poem describes their hungry but sometimes ambivalent desires – I am drawn to a feeling of ‘too muchness’ in the monsoonal buildup of both environments. I love succumbing to a humidity that envelopes my whole being and finding the beauty and darkness in each environment.

Ariel Cameron is an artist, photographer and curator based between Vietnam and Australia since 2017. Her practice and research centres around themes of community and connection to place, home and land, largely inspired by her upbringing in regional Australia. While working internationally she has participated in artist residencies in both Australia and Vietnam, exhibited across the two countries and has an upcoming exhibition at Singapore International Photography Festival.
Ariel completed her BA in Photography at the Queensland College of Art, going on to work with Melbourne based curatorial collective Photodust while completing a Masters in Arts Management at RMIT University. She is a passionate advocate for emerging lens-based media in the Asia-Pacific region, promoting exchanges between artists through several curatorial projects.

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