Tue – Sun 29/10 – 25/11/2021, 10 am – 06 pm
Manzi Exhibition Space
No. 2 Ngo Hang Bun, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
“Look at this trove
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Looking around here you’d think
Sure, she’s got everything”
And so it goes, one of The Little Mermaid ⁽¹⁾’s most memorable moments, where we see Princess Ariel swirl around in her secret grotto, excitedly singing about the mundane objects she has collected during her exploration of shipwrecks and caves under the sea – objects that perhaps have been discarded, lost or forgotten by those living above the surface of water. In the exhibition ‘Lovecore’⁽²⁾by artist AP Nguyễn, a similar sense of sweetness and strangeness, of wonder and puzzlement, emerges. For here, the artist also welcomes us into her personal treasure trove which has been accumulated over the years, and openly displays – for our viewing pleasure – the objects of her own desires and dreams, in all their brilliance, vulnerability, and honesty.
Hòn non bộ. Áo dài. Hạ Long Bay. Picture frame. Bikini bottoms. Karaoke. ‘Việt Nam Quê Hương Tôi’. Appearing in this exhibition are but a few objects, phrases and images (or rather, subjects of enquiry), selected from AP’s ongoing project which started in 2017 when the artist left Vietnam to study and live abroad. Embracing her position as someone twin-cultured, having always been fascinated by both the kitsch and camp⁽³⁾, and to all things “quintessentially Vietnamese”⁽⁴⁾, AP makes art that takes inspiration from, brings together, and at times, sits uncomfortably between personal memories and public imagination. Borrowing from popular cultural phenomenon, utilizing the aesthetic of mass-produced souvenirs, as well as their well-known and over-exhausted iconography, AP playfully subverts the conventions and expectation of such objects and images – by altering their properties and functions, or by weaving in her autobiographical reflections and experiences. Thus, her work teases with what we think we know.
(1) ‘𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐿𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑀𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑑‘ 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 1989 𝐴𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑓𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑠𝑦 𝑓𝑖𝑙𝑚 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑊𝑎𝑙𝑡 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑛𝑒𝑦 𝑃𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑠, 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑏𝑎𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑙 1837 𝐷𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑠ℎ 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑟𝑦 𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑤𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑛 𝑏𝑦 𝐻𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝐶ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝐴𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑛. 𝐼𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑖𝑑 1990𝑠, 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑊𝑎𝑙𝑡 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑛𝑒𝑦 𝑏𝑜𝑥 𝑜𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑒 ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑠, ‘𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐿𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑀𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑑’ 𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑉𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑛𝑎𝑚 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚 𝑜𝑓 𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑝𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑎 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑟 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒.
(2) 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑛 𝐼𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛𝑒𝑡 𝑎𝑒𝑠𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐 (𝑏𝑜𝑟𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑇𝑖𝑘𝑇𝑜𝑘, 𝐼𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑇𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑙𝑟) 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑏𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑔𝑖𝑎, 𝑜𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑝𝑖𝑛𝑘, 𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡-𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑒𝑑 𝑝𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑠 “𝑏𝑎𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑣𝑖𝑠𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑢𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑟𝑜𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛.
(3) 𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦, 𝑘𝑖𝑡𝑠𝑐ℎ 𝑖𝑠 𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑊𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒, 𝑒𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑡-𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑦 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑤 𝑎𝑓𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑑 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛. 𝐴𝑠 “𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑝 𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠, ℎ𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑠, 𝑣𝑢𝑙𝑔𝑎𝑟 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑟𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑘𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠”, 𝑘𝑖𝑡𝑠𝑐ℎ 𝑖𝑠 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠-𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒𝑑, 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑏𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑠𝑡𝑦𝑙𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑣𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑑𝑠, 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑠. 𝐾𝑖𝑡𝑠𝑐ℎ 𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑑𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑦 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦, 𝑎𝑓𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑎𝑟/𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑀𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑖 𝐶𝑎̆𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑐𝑢 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑠 “𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑢𝑡𝑦”. 𝑂𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑢𝑖𝑠ℎ 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑘𝑖𝑡𝑠𝑐ℎ, 𝑐𝑎𝑚𝑝 “𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑏𝑎𝑑 𝑡𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒… 𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑟 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡,” 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑠 𝑎𝑡 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑙𝑦 𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 “𝑠𝑢𝑏𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 “𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑡𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒” 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑐𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑠𝑚.”
(4) 𝑇𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑛 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝐴𝑃 𝑁𝑔𝑢𝑦𝑒̂̃𝑛’𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡, 𝑁𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 2020. 𝐻𝑒𝑟𝑒, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝ℎ𝑟𝑎𝑠𝑒 “𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑉𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑠𝑒” 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑠, 𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑔𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑦𝑚𝑏𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑡𝑒𝑠 ‘𝑉𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑛𝑎𝑚’. 𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠-𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑔𝑜 𝑜𝑛 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑑𝑎𝑦 (𝑖.𝑒. 𝑘𝑒𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑖𝑛, 𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑡, 𝑝𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑒, 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑡𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝑒𝑡𝑐.), 𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑟 𝑑𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑟 ℎ𝑜𝑚𝑒. 𝑉𝑖𝑠𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑎 𝑘𝑖𝑡𝑠𝑐ℎ 𝑎𝑒𝑠𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑜𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑎 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑠𝑠 (𝑎 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝑜𝑟 𝑎 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒), 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑎𝑙𝑠𝑜 𝑎 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑡 (𝑜𝑛𝑒’𝑠 𝑚𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑑 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒/𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒).
In light of the current COVID-19 developments, please wear a mask when visiting and use the hand sanitizer provided at the entrance.
This is part of Manzi’s art programme supported by the Goethe Institut.
Communications partners: Hanoi Grapevine
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