neither fish nor fowl

neither fish nor fowl

Poster design by Nguyen Phuong Thao

11 am – 07 pm, 27 Jul – 26 Aug 2023
Galerie BAQ
15, Rue Beautreillis, 75004 Paris

From the organizer:

A late summer encounter, when the fruits are ripening.

Phu Lang Sa Collectif and Galerie BAQ joyfully invite you to “neither fish nor fowl – không ngan chẳng ngỗng”, the first group show of the Phu Lang Sa Collabtive project, introducing the works of young Asian and Asian-descent artists in the Phu Lang Sa Collective: Nguyen Phuong Thao, Trần Kim Phượng, Hang Hang, Khieu Anh along with invited artists Ha-Yeon Joo, Maya de Vulpillières, Tống Khánh Hà and Kay Maruta.

“The pitfall of to be able to understand deeply two worlds is to be neither flesh nor fish, to stay in the vagueness so as not to be labeled.”*

Invited artists’ special installations:
07 pm, 27th July: Maya de Vulpillières
07 pm, 29th July: Tống Khánh Hà
07 pm, 3rd August: Ha-Yeon Joo
07 pm, 14th August: Kay Maruta

The showcased artists will participate in a cumulative process, adding their work in dialogue with each other and continually changing the space and enriching the conversation. The show will take its final form during the last week of August.

Phu Lang Sa Collectif’s talk:
05 – 07 pm, 10th August
Du côté chez Loan | 20 rue Hallé, 75014 Paris

Shaped by Vietnamese artists, Phu Lang Sa Collabtive project supports fellow art practitioners from minority communities living and working in Europe.

(*) Linda Lê, « Étranges Étrangers », 2010, translated from French by Khieu Anh

About artists

Nguyen Phuong Thao (2000) is an artist and filmmaker currently working in France and Germany. She is completing her MFA in the media arts department of the HEAR Strasbourg and ADBK Munich. Her works follow the trails of people, objects, and practices through borders and cultural landscapes — hitherto forming a series of portraits situating each one in the current of history.

With two installations, Nguyen Phuong Thao presents creations from her latest research venture; both questioning the relationship we have with our possessions and our affections for them. Her works explore the potentials that hold the objects in life, more than just a metonymy for a capitalist obsession, they reform and transform our grip on internal and external realities. There are two propositions: a self-sufficient storytelling device, and a container of memory.

Hang Hang (Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang) born and raised in Vietnam. Hang graduated an MA in scenography at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris in 2023. She embraces the intermedia resonance between performing arts and performance art as she re-examines micro-history through verbal memory. Her practice is a series of enquiry into the silencing of memory under different social contexts and pressures. Her works have been featured at the Théâtre de L’Aquarium in Paris, and Nhà Sàn Collective’s Emerging Artists program for Documenta 15. She is a founding member of Phu Lang Sa Collective.

Hang invites the public to enter an elusive moment that remained after a night of gardening with her father and younger sister. Pieces of aluminum engravings catch the light, a hidden bed appears, disappears, a woven image – the last photograph of her family in front of a house that no longer exists – changes from negative to positive depending on the viewer’s position. They breathe together.

Trần Kim Phượng (pseudonym) goes with different identities when it comes to artistic practices. They were born and raised in Hanoi for 23 years and later lived in different cities.

For not fish nor fowl, they will present “Utopie” (2022-), a series of drawings and photographs that portrays different and separate worlds seen on individuals’ bodies.

Khieu Anh (1995) has been working on a Ph.D. thesis since 2019 at Aix-Marseille University.  Her research mainly focuses on French theatre in Indochina and its reception by Indochinese newspapers written in French during the colonial era (1887-1945). Living in the stream of continuous past-present, she believes in the powers of the Representation and is interested in the possibilities of constantly modeling the world and oneself according to one’s desires. She is developing a recent passion for embroidery, punch needle, rug making and everything yarn-relayed.

In this very first experiment, with needle, yarns and clay, Khieu Anh tries to revive an old photo of her and her maternal grandmother. As everything in the photo had already vanished or had come to the point of irreversible change, her attempt is to get in ‘touch’ with that strange yet familiar reality that she holds dear.

Maya de Vulpillières (1999) is a French-Khmer artist and currently in her fourth year at L’École des Arts décoratifs Paris, specializing in Space Art, as well as writing a thesis. She works with photos, drawings, ceramics, paintings, and installations; she introduces herself through drawings and the space where they took place.

Maya de Vulpillières presents a collection of soils photographed: her “soils”, or what was happening under her feet. These soils, taken in Cambodia, Vietnam, Reunion Island, India caught her attention for their discrete yet powerful and spontaneous sense of composition. The piece is composed of photographs printed in different formats and glued on small wooden rectangles, similar to modular pieces from kapla, a French game for children made up of pine boards stacked onto each other to make imaginary constructions. Using these miniatures on the ground, she was “constructing worlds, stacked or scattered, thus inviting endless imagination.”

Tống Khánh Hà (1995) is a visual artist from Hanoi and graduated in Communication Design at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences Hamburg. She loves to discover phenomena in seemingly trivial things, distills them and derives new aesthetic forms of representation from them.

“How does white* feel?” (German: Wie fühlt sich weiß an?, 2023) is an ongoing series of drawings by Tống Khánh Hà, inspired by the initial question “How does white sound?”. With her interest lies in the intersection between sound and the visual perception of the colour white, Tống’ graduation essay is part of the project, turning more inwardly into her state of mind in specific situations. On drawings, she creates an in-between space for contemplations on positionality and the act of positioning. The series results from a long process of self-questioning and encountering discrimination in different contexts. How would white, a colour that is often placed in dualistic relations, evoke and represent, especially in reference to diversity, the recognition of differences, and a practice of openness, free from prejudices?
*’white’ indicates the visual perception of the colour white in this context.

Ha-Yeon Joo (2000) is based in Seoul, South Korea. She entered Korea National University of Arts in 2019. She is currently studying at Beaux-Arts de Paris for an exchange, at the studios of Emmanuelle Huynh and Götz Arndt. She practices various media, including performance, installation, painting, and sculpture.

Her works suggest leading-and-misleading experiences that necessarily incorporate performative movements of spectators. The focusing point on the work is to be uncertain, in a cons- tant state of change. “Breathe. Grind the stone and drink the dust.” The stone sculpture suggests a drawing activity on a 3 dimensional oeuvre. The act of carving follows what the soft stone claims in their characteristics. The volume is built by compromising between the specific shape and the exposed surface.

Kay Maruta (1996) is currently completing a Master’s degree at L’École des Arts décoratifs Paris. Originally a photographer, he continues to challenge and produce works in diverse fields of expression, including installation, video, sculpture, and music while emphasizing a sense of balance between concept and technique.

For the show, Kay Maruta presents an installation that combines glass and photography. Photographic artworks are transferred and attached onto to a glass that glows in iridescent colours. It was taken during the summer of 2021 in a slum in Marseille where six or seven FtM transgender people and queers were living together in a large abandoned house. It was a community that supported each other through the period of mental instability that comes with gender reassignment surgery.

About Phu Lang Sa Collabtive

Towards the end of 2018, Hang Hang founded Phu Lang Sa Collective in the hopes of weaving connections between young Vietnamese artists living in France. Initially a place to discuss the latest exhibitions, for screenings, to help each other by crossing different artistic practices, since 2019, Phu Lang Sa Collective has deployed an initiative titled Phu Lang Sa Collabtive to support fellow Vietnamese artists in France and Europe whilst continuing to grow and expanding its reach. “Phu Lang Sa” being the phonetic spelling of “France” in ancient Vietnamese (“富郎沙”), points towards the group’s place of origin. Members of the Collective are comprised of artists, architects, designers and other practitioners in different fields of arts such as researchers, critics and curators. Living the very challenges of working in the arts overseas, we want to make our own chances, for ourselves and fellow artists with little audience. Ultimately, Phu Lang Sa would like to create and discover new spaces for creating, sharing and exhibiting art in Europe. We will wholeheartedly offer support for Vietnamese or others artists from minority communities working in France and Europe.

Recurrent activities within the Collective:
– Group screening followed by discussion of South East Asians films using Objective Film Library;
– Exclusive roundtables & Artists Talks with Vietnamese filmmakers and global artists: Past invitees: Truong Minh Quy (Vietnam), Appendix Group (Phụ Lục – Nhà Sàn Collective, Vietnam), visual artist Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn (Sweden), typography designer Nguyễn Đông Trúc (Vietnam), Artists Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon (France).
– General public activities “Studying arts in France?”, online talk (07/01/2023, co-organized with ArtPlas)

Follow updates on event’s page.


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