’An Unbearable Lightness Between Sky and Water'

’An Unbearable Lightness Between Sky and Water'

Posted on

Opening: 06 pm – 08 pm, Fri 12 Jan 2024
Exhibition: 10 am – 07 pm, Tues – Thurs 13 Jan – 07 Feb 2024
Galerie Quynh
118 Nguyễn Văn Thủ, Đa Kao Ward, D.1, HCMC

From the organizer:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, butter and line the base of two cake tins
with baking parchment.

The artist turns the dial, worn with use so jams at 300.
Hands drag fat across cold metal, translucence crunch over the top.

Using a whisk, beat the butter and sugar together, the two strangers an unlikely meeting of grainy mass. Keep whisking until the frenzy of arm against saccharine lumps blur infrared, deep yellow flashing lightning to turn pale.

I remember thirsting for sweet
Clear juice boils to turn crystallic
Prising open grandma’s teeth
to find mealy mung beans mashed with a half nail of
Extreme Refinement
I poke my head into her cavemouth
and beg her to spit back out the specks
of sweetsalt I grow up to never eat.

Eggs spill their gelatine over butter
to add desireable fluff and shine. The whisk’s balloon drags bloodclouds into the fold that bloodrain into the sea. Above us there seems only sky / and cloud seeding; what is sacred must also weep.

Sometimes I see only inversion
sky and land / myths told by shadow
Devils dance with the deceased
Or no, just women, ruling darkness

Whisk again, half bag of flour. The other half ration for later.

With outstretched arms, tip your bowl into your tins, and watch the ribbons of batter submit to roundness. Bake in the centre of the oven to
reach for the promise
of cake.

– Thái Hà
After Jihyun Yun’s War Soup and a recipe for sponge cake.

Galerie Quynh is excited to present ‘An Unbearable Lightness Between Sky and Water’ – a solo exhibition by Lien Truong featuring some of her most ambitious work to date. The show weaves together languages of paint, textile, and food, forming a hybrid, diasporic language of love dedicated to Truong’s late mother who passed in April last year. Built on a practice long examining material ideologies and notions of heritage, the works blend painting techniques and philosophies with military, textile, and food histories, alongside a timeline of Truong’s family’s migration from north to south Vietnam, then to the United States.

About Liên Trương

Photo by Vero Kherian


Lien Truong’s practice examines cultural and material ideologies and notions of heritage. By fusing painting techniques, materials and philosophies, and military, textile, food and art histories, she creates hybrid forms interrogating the relationship between aesthetics and doctrine and addresses the dynamics of domination, assimilation, and resistance across cultures. Truong often incorporates practices like embroidery and silk painting to dissect social, cultural, and political history, investigating the influences that shape contemporary identity and belief systems.

Truong has held exhibitions in many institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Van Every | Smith Galleries, Davidson, NC; Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC; the Centres of Contemporary Art in Moscow and Yekaterinburg; Oakland Museum of California; and Pennsylvania Academy of Art, PA. Truong is the recipient of many awards and fellowships including the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2019. She has received fellowships from the Institute of the Arts and Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fine Arts Fellowships; and has held residencies at the Oakland Museum of California, Jentel Foundation, and the Marble House Project. Her work is in major collections such as the Linda Lee Alter Collection, Philadelphia, PA; Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Post-Vi Dai Collection, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Geneva, Switzerland; Nguyen Art Foundation, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam among others.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Truong immigrated to the US in 1975. She received her MFA from Mills College, Oakland, CA. Truong is based in Chapel Hill where she is also Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Follow updates on event’s page.


Leave a Reply