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Exhibition of photographs, paintings and video works in Saigon

VietNamNet Bridge – The exhibition “The Picture Will Still Exist”, featuring photographs, paintings and video works selected from Post Vidai Collection, will take place at 2nd Floor, 103 Dong Khoi Str, Dist 1, HCM City from June 22 through August 22.

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The exhibition showcases eight established and emerging Vietnamese artists and collective, including Dinh Q. Le, Hoang Duong Cam, Howard Henry Chen, Le Quy Tong, Ngoc Nau, Phuong Linh, The Propeller Group and Vo An Khanh. 

A number of artworks, such as Dinh Q. Le’s WTC in four moments (2014), The Propeller Group’s AK-47 vs. M16 (2015) and Phuong Linh’s Sanctified Clouds (2012-2015), will be on display for the first time to the Vietnamese public.

Referring to photography, once a photograph is captured, it freezes a moment. It is the momentwhich will forever represent an angle of reality that the camera holder is determined to shoot. Susan Sontag has argued that photographs are ‘memento mori’ – mortality, when they ‘testify to time’s relentless melt’. Indeed visual artists have been using this medium as a way to reflect, analyze, fictionalize and even corrupt reality. 

“The Picture Will Still Exist” showcases how diversely artists can treat photography – metaphorically and physically. The politics of photography becomes visible through its aesthetics and the process creating such aesthetics: for example stretching an instant of less than one second of a terrorist image into six minutes; deliberately distorting a historic photograph to erase its original context; or preserving the trace of two flying bullets in a flesh-like gel block.

“The Picture Will Still Exist” demonstrates Post Vidai, when one medium, photography, can be appreciated in multiple aspects of the collection. It hopes to bring the viewers distinct and poetic worldviews from limitless extension of photography in particular and visual arts in general.

The exhibition is curated by Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran, Director and Curator of Post Vidai.

Established in 1994, Post Vidai is a unique collection that focuses on the development of Vietnamese contemporary art. ‘Vidai’ in Vietnamese means ‘great’ or ‘monumental’, which was used widely in propaganda slogans and posters. The use of this term is a playful way of collecting the artistic gestures after the establishment of ‘Doi Moi’, Vietnam’s ‘great’ economic reforms of the late 1980s. 

Post Vidai is a title that provokes questions of ambition, to imagine a space and time inspired by the past but looking towards a prosperous future in Vietnam. It is also a phrase that reflects the focus of the collection – the post Doi Moi generation, when contemporary art started its practice and discourse in Vietnam.


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