The Factory would like to express gratitude towards all artists who applied to our 2019 ‘Materialize’ program. Your diverse practices and dedication made this year particularly challenging for our judges… So, thank you!


Congratulations to our three finalists! In May, we welcome Võ Thuỷ Tiên (HCMC), her photography-based practice delving into the different layers of her personal life, asking what drives and controls one’s needs and desires. In August, painter Nguyễn Ngọc Thạch (HCMC) showcases a body of work inspired by the psychological void left behind by our fast-paced, machine-controlled life. In November, we bring you Đặng Thuỳ Anh (Hanoi), whose multimedia work compares human and mollusc societies, intrigued by their similarities in social interaction and survival tactic.


Looking forward to working on these projects and seeing them eventuate at The Factory!


‘Silent Intimacy’ is Đặng Thùy Anh’s first solo exhibition in her artistic endeavor with golden apple snails, contemplatively dubbed with the impact of urbanization on human life.  Apple snails are amphibious creatures first introduced to Vietnamese farmers in the 1990s to increase nutrition in feed for domestic animals. As a consequence of the rapid growth of the apple snail, the population of local snails drastically suffered, subsequently damaging crops, eventually causing a nation-wide call for the apple snail to be destroyed in the Vietnamese landscape. In this exhibition, apple snails are, again, a foreign (art) ‘object’, one that is living and constantly evolving, thus resisting any expectations for artworks to be static or pleasant-looking. Intrigued by the reckless evolution, and also absurd yet lyrical presence of these snails, Thùy Anh finds them a perfect mirror for human beings in their ominous drive to growth, but also to death.


Broken Relationships’ is an investigation, by Nguyễn Ngọc Thạch, into the chaos of the current world order and the loss of ethical ground in the human-to-human social contract. With his adept painterly treatment of the aesthetics of landscape and the realm of the psyche, Thạch humbly captures the anguish of the human condition, unwaveringly confronting his own discern of trauma and suffering. 


My marriage’ is an ongoing project by Võ Thuỷ Tiên, which delves into the different layers of the artist’s personal life, and explores ideas of marriage and motherhood, domesticity and the family, and the complexity of love and relationships. Via Thuỷ Tiên’s own (sometimes imagined) past, these themes are given shape through the usage and collage of certain images of fruit and objects (some considered highly symbolic in Vietnamese cultural life). They appear in works of photography, sculpture and moving image throughout the exhibition. Betel-nuts (a significant gift a groom is to offer his bride’s family) are shown with photos of grapefruit, papaya and bananas (signifying the power of youth and fertility). While sticks of incense (a ritual object used to connect the spirit world with the living) appear alongside shots of a wedding dress and chinawares (representing kitchen chores, a domestic task that is still today, mainly expected of a woman).

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