The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre is delighted to present Ly Hoàng Ly’s first solo exhibition and most comprehensive presentation of her work to date, as part of her on-going project ‘0395A.ĐC’. This multimedia, collaged body of work will showcase the artist’s ongoing inquiry into the epic story and continuous struggle of human (im)migration, whilst highlighting the contested nature of the memorisation, documentation and circulation of history.
Respected at home and abroad as one of the most critically acclaimed artists of her generation, and constantly extending what is locally considered traditional and experimental, Ly’s diverse oeuvre brings together poetry and performance, text and sculpture, sound and public art – to name a few. Between 2011 and 2015, Ly relocated to the US to further her education – a change that greatly reoriented her artistic commitment and critical approach, providing the conceptual framework for this exhibition.
In the centre of the gallery space, a structure stands monumentally, its scale remarkable, its design elegantly minimalist, its intention poetic. Built with twelve intricately designed steel configurations and weighing a total of 21 ton, this sculpture provides passage as we enter the ‘in-between-worlds’ of ‘0395A.ĐC’; a kind of steel entrance connecting us with the past and present, the remembered and forgotten, the known and un-learnt. Its illuminating surface reflects the shapes and sounds of the various media that make up the other components of the exhibition: two multi-media installations warning of the possible danger of losing connections to our own history, and a sculptural installation alongside a series of paintings pointing to the power of repetition and recalling memory.
Throughout the exhibition, particular visual elements – such as a boat, a house or water – are repeated (made transparent); their sizes enlarged (made significant), then shrunk (made minor); while others – such as names of people, landmarks or countries – are left in places away from the eyes (made opaque), or completely covered-up (made hidden). This disruptive, even violent act of scaling up/scaling down, magnifying/softening, crossing out details/giving them more attention, visualising the not-yet-seen/de-visualising the can-not-be-seen, becomes the apparatus with which we use to navigate ‘0395A.ĐC’. It is out of absolute necessity that Ly Hoàng Ly de-links the visual, the can-not-be-seen and can-not-be-spoken. By obscuring this information, thus revealing her own act of concealment, she sharply points to the memorising and circulating of history – breaking it up, turning it back on itself, flipping it inside out.
Ly Hoàng Ly’s public sculpture, ‘boat home boat’ – a monumental structure, will be given a permanent home in a public space in Vietnam following this exhibition.
The opening of this exhibition coincides with the public opening of ‘The muted conversations’, also taking place at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre on the 10 August 2017, from 7pm.