Home: Looking inwards to the outer world is a selection of artwork arising from an initiative, begun in March 2020 by The Factory, at the onset of COVID-19. Inspired by the whimsical drawings of artist Nguyễn Đức Phương who, during the initial nation-wide social distancing month-long period in Vietnam, was humorously re-appropriating Vietnamese modern masters iconic works to a virus-laden era, The Factory felt compelled to extend invitations to our local community of artists seeking their response to what we now know, continues to be endured as a global pandemic.
Unlike many of our international colleagues, The Factory has been fortunate to continue our programming on physical platforms as Vietnam continues to react promptly in containing virus outbreaks within its borders. Life here has been a relative bubble of normalcy, compared to the rest of the world, our daily habits largely unaffected by the horrifying numbers of casualties across the globe – but we continue to have had our own little episodic virus surges, returning to our home-bound bodies – isolated, restrained, overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, waiting for daily updates on infections.
Covid-19 has revealed numerous perplexing dilemmas: the domino effect of suffering in an era of global economic interdependence; of the social distance that has become greater than ever despite our virtual connectivity; of an unusual collective solidarity in sharing resilience. Amid this predicament, we at The Factory have asked ourselves: Who are we if we can no longer open our doors to our public? How can The Factory stay committed to maintaining our role as a concentrated port of ideas, where we continue to gather, share and exchange? How shall we take this opportunity to activate our role as memory keepers? Thus The Factory decided to release these resulting artistic reflections (artwork and commentary) via The Factory’s Facebook and Instagram accounts over the course of the last 12 months, as precursor to what we hoped, and have managed to realize here, as a physical exhibition.
Home: Looking inwards to the outer worldincludes drawing, painting, video, poetry, and installation; accompanied by particular audio from artists who share private monologue on their ideas, and video documentation of private musical performances held in the last year of the pandemic.
This project would not have been possible without the generous contribution of the following artists: Nguyễn Đức Phương, Trương Công Tùng, Bùi Công Khánh, Nam Thi, Phan Thảo Nguyên, Hà Ninh Pham, Võ Thuỷ Tiên and Tammy Nguyễn.
This exhibition is curated by The Factory Contemporary art Centre and will be on view until 6 June 2021.