Pollination 2019 was officially kicked off with visits surveying cultural and socio-political scenes of Malaysia (in March 2019) and Vietnam (in April 2019), by our two nominated curators Lê Thuận Uyên and Khatijah Rahmat.
During her trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Uyên visited various public art spaces and neighbourhoods across the city; surveying some of the social concerns, political dynamics, and customs that surround contemporary life in the capital. Khatijah came to Vietnam and visited 3 different cities – Hồ Chí Minh City, Huế and Hà Nội – to observe and experience first-hand its social life and cultural legacies, that have left impact on Vietnamese community today. Throughout these research trips, Khatijah and Uyen compared their observations and understandings of, and experiences in, both countries. Studying the practices of national identity, including the imaginaries of geographical / psychological distance from regional countries, both Kat and Uyen were compelled by the various fictions employed in recording/interpreting their respective histories (and cause).
The two curators continue to explore these issues with artists Izat Arif and Hoàng Minh Đức in the following months towards a duo show in November 2019, at ILHAM Gallery in Kuala Lumpur (co-organized by The Factory and ILHAM Gallery).