|Poster of the exhibition comprises artworks by Nguyen The Son and Nguyen Kim To Lan
Nguyen The Son and Nguyen Kim To Lan are showcasing their works at the exhibition Light as pink feather, held at the Sprinkler Factory in Massachusetts from now to September 30.
In the exhibition, Lan and Son reflect on the resilient, problem-solving attitude characteristic of the Vietnamese people through their works of photography, drawing, video and installation.
Son’s art focuses on everyday social and political realities in contemporary Vietnam and how people creatively work around them. Lan’s works explore the moon as a longtime symbol for human aspirations and ideals, from the famous Vietnamese folktale of the lonely man and his magical tree on the moon — commemorated in the annual mid-autumn festival in Vietnam — to the human dream of reaching the moon that was actually achieved by Neil Armstrong in 1969, in contrast with the major worldwide protests and social upheavals that also marked that year.
The exhibition looks at the grace, beauty, and humour that people find in the world in spite of its many difficulties.
Light as pink feather is a Vinglish (Vietnamese and English) phrase from the Vietnamese saying Nhe tua long hong, which describes a can-do attitude and optimism in the face of life’s struggles, no matter how complicated or dire the situation.
Lan is a multidisciplinary, conceptual artist in HCM City. She helped found Sao La Collective, an independent art collective in the southern region of Vietnam. Community-oriented, she and fellow artists have been working towards a multi-form “art” approach and creating more public engagement in everyday spaces.
Son is a visual artist from Hanoi. He studied photography in Beijing and works as a professor of fine arts. Fascinated by life on the streets, especially the ubiquitous, ever-toiling, low-wage earners who are so easily overlooked, Son uses his photography to create large-scale, layered photo-reliefs and installations that reflect his street experiences.