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Lumenvisum is proud to work with Singaporean curator Zhuang Wubin to present Photography in Southeast Asia (III) –“Mountain Connecting Mountain, River Connecting River” (2012/2019), the solo exhibition of Nguyễn Thế Sơn. It is the first solo exhibition of the Vietnamese artist Nguyễn Thế Sơn in Hong Kong. This exhibition can be described as “open couplet”, encompassing a mixed-media installation that incorporates photography, lacquer work and calligraphy. It invites viewers to re-examine the ambiguous and tangible relationship, its past and present, between Vietnam and China.Ideas such as “boundary” and “Chineseness” are entangled in the complexity of histories in Southeast Asia. The situation between Vietnam and China is one example. Vietnamese artist Nguyễn Thế Sơn focuses on the cultural exchanges and shifting relationship between the two nations in the past 100 years. He is especially interested in the tension between identity and “Chineseness”, exploring this trajectory through photography and other art mediums.

Ideas such as “boundary” and “Chineseness” are entangled in the complexity of histories in Southeast Asia. The situation between Vietnam and China is one example. Vietnamese artist Nguyễn Thế Sơn focuses on the cultural exchanges and shifting relationship between the two nations in the past 100 years. He is especially interested in the tension between identity and “Chineseness”, exploring this trajectory through photography and other art mediums.

The idea of the exhibition stems from a popular song (circulating since the 1960s) named “Mountain Connecting Mountain, River Connecting River”, which symbolized the warm relationship between Vietnam and China. Nguyễn tries to compare the differences between the Red River that he photographed in 2012 with the one described in the lyrics of the song. The photographs are paired with 6 lacquer panels, which features found images downloaded from the Internet of both countries. Each panel features a calligraphic inscription of one of the six characters that form the song title in Vietnamese. From his work, history and culture are linked through different visual signs. Viewers are allowed to think about the meaning of the artwork through their cultural and historical perspectives.

According to curator Zhuang Wubin, the education background of Nguyễn Thế Sơn, a Vietnamese who studied in Beijing, provides him a better understanding about the cultures and languages of the two nations. His education background also opens up more possibilities for Nguyễn to respond to identity and geopolitical issues. In this work, Nguyễn references the song’s afterlife to encourage viewers to reconsider how the political elites in Vietnam and China have maneuvered their longstanding relationship.

Artist: Nguyễn Thế Sơn
Curator: Zhuang Wubin
Opening Reception: 6.4.2019 (Sat) 5-7pm
Exhibition Period: 6.4 – 19.5.2019
Artist talk: 6.4.2019 (Sat) 2-5pm
Opening hour: Tue to Sun 11am-1pm; 2-6pm (Closed on monday and public holidays)
Venue: Lumenvisum – L2-10, JCCAC, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon

* Docent-guided visits available for groups. Please contact us for details.

 

Artist talk

Based in Hanoi, Artist Nguyen The Son has always experimented with the possibilities of photography in contemporary art. This has led him to a journey of working with photo-based installations and alternative print techniques. In the artist talk, we will focus on the experiences of exhibition creation and the uses of photography as the medium. In the first part of the artist talk, curator Zhuang Wubin will introduce the history and the cultural background of Vietnam and China and Nguyen will provide a behind-the-scenes view of his experiments in art making. In the second part, We will focus on other art creation of the artist, We will share his attempts to manipulate the materiality of photography while referencing the Vietnamese cultural resources.

Date: 6.4.2019
Time: 2:00-5:00pm
Speaker: Nguyễn Thế Sơn (Artist)
Moderator: Zhuang Wubin (Curator of Photography in Southeast Asia Series)
Language: Mandarin, supplementary in English
Venue: Lumenvisum – L2-10, JCCAC, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon


About
the artist

Nguyễn Thế Sơn (b. 1978, Hanoi) is a visual artist, independent curator and a lecturer at the Vietnam Fine Arts University. In 2012, he graduated with an MFA (photography major) from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing. His projects are often driven by sociological research, reflecting the loss of cultural values and memories in the midst of rapid change in Vietnam. Nguyễn’s artworks can be found in private and public collections, including the Worcester Art Museum, RMIT University Vietnam, Aegon Art Collection and CAFA.

In recent years, Nguyễn Thế Sơn has also served as a mentor and curator for CSAGA (Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Family – Women and Adolescents) in Vietnam, working with vulnerable social groups to put up multimedia art exhibitions. In addition, he has also curated group exhibitions to showcase contemporary art in public spaces, like along Phùng Hưng Street and at the basement of the National Assembly.

About the curator

Zhuang Wubin is a writer, curator and artist. As a writer/curator, Zhuang focuses on the photographic practices in Southeast Asia. A 2010 recipient of the research grant from Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam), Zhuang is an editorial board member of Trans-Asia Photography Review. He has been invited to research residency programmes at Institute Technology of Bandung (2013), Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong (2015), Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2017) and the Ha Bik Chuen Archive at AAA (2018). He is the contributing curator of the biennial Chiang Mai Photo Festival (2015, 2017). Published by NUS Press, Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey (2016) is his fourth book.

About Photography in Southeast Asia

Lumenvisum presents the Photography in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with Zhuang Wubin, a Singaporean curator and researcher on photographic practices in Southeast Asia. The exhibition series consists of three exhibitions, featuring one Southeast Asian photographer each year. Interacting with Southeast Asian mentality and experiences, audience can reflect on the influence of Chinese culture, uncover the entangled complications with China and be updated on the photographic trends in Southeast Asia.

About Lumenvisum

Lumenvisum is a registered charitable arts organization established in 2007. Dedicated to promote the photographic art in Hong Kong, it regularly organizes photo exhibitions, artist talks, photography courses as well as a wide range of exchange and educational activities. Apart from an art space, at its Centre in JCCAC, it also runs a library and a bookstore.

 

Enquiries

Mon Fu

T (852) 3177 9159

E monfu@lumenvisum.org

 

Chilong Chan

T (852) 2777 8766

E chilong@lumenvisum.org