Our chosen element for 2020 is Earth! The Factory is pleased to announce Hanoi based artist Lê Giang as our successful ‘Re-Aligning the Cosmos’ Fellow with her proposal to investigate the meaning, extraction and trade of precious stones in Vietnam in the popular Feng shui belief that its energy brings fortune, good health and prosperity. Examining Feng shui beliefs in the given meaning of these precious stones, Lê Giang aims to dig deeper into the possible environmental repercussions, economic profits and cultural degradation of such resources. Examining not only present day mining techniques and their impacts on the livelihood and spiritual life of the local indigenous communities, including the increase of such trade during the colonial occupation of Vietnam, she also intends to research the current realm of luxury brand products, of how the design of our material desires represents Nature as resource that humankind can own, and thus exploit. Following on from this curiosity in how Nature is (ill) valued and depicted, Lê Giang seeks to know more about the historical occurrence of ‘sơn thuỷ hữu tình’—a romanticized genre of depicting landscape through painting, sculpture, textile (always with mountains and rivers) that are often found on display as decoration in many Vietnamese households. Through folktales, myths and collective memory, Lê Giang envisages resulting artwork/s that re-construct such notions of beauty in Vietnam, one that is in stark contrast with the current exploitation of the elements in their natural environment.
To find out more information on Lê Giang’s upcoming exhibition, please click here.