Vietnam presents art from women’s perspectives

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‘The Amor’ by Phi Phi Oanh, a Vietnamese artist born in America is among the works by eight female artists to be on display March 7-23 in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of Art Vietnam Gallery

Art Vietnam Gallery and the Goethe Institute in Hanoi are presenting an exhibition of eight female artists to celebrate the International Women’s Day (March 8).
“A Woman’s View” gathers paintings, sculptures, installations and video art, many of which are based on memories, inspired by historical traditions, crafts and rituals, and intimate familial musings.
Phi Phi Oanh, a Vietnamese artist born in America, made her lacquer torso “The Armor” to show how people have to protect their egos. Her Specula, which is a lacquer tunnel, was exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum from October 24 and February 16 as part of the region’s prominent contemporary art festival Singapore Biennale 2013.
Finnish artist Maritta Nurmi, who has been living in Vietnam for more than 20 years, presents a human-size clay vase, decorated with the artist’s timeline including her pains and glory.
Trinh Thi, founder and director of Doclab, an independent center for documentary film and video art at Goethe, presents a film which explores various aspects of labor in Vietnam, celebrating each of its subjects to highlight humanity amid industrialization. Her other video, which uses the metaphor of eating to question freedom of expression, was presented at the Singapore Biennale 2013.
Other works include lacquer and silk paintings that examine intimacy and how personal relationships provide a mirror into one’s psyche, how one can balance public and private lives; installations of X-rays to create a blanket of memory, of 12 bronze sculptures sitting at a table to indicate the void in front of people as they are occupied by reminiscences for the past and anticipation of the future.
Another work is a map of historical roofs and houses of a Japanese village on a lantern made of Japanese paper called Washi. Vu Kim Thu created the work as inspired by a period living in Japan and the memories of the roofs of her ancient Hanoi.
Suzanne Lecht, Curator and Art Director of Art Vietnam Gallery, said in a press release that the works portray a collective vision of life, art, femininity and their own unique place in the world.
The exhibition will start this Friday at 6 p.m. at the Goethe Institute at 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street and will last until March 23.

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