Regional Code Asia - Talk Series
In tandem with the Regional Code Asia archive 3331 has initiated a series of regular events to introduce the activities of some of the most interesting alternative arts engagements in the region. This is a great opportunity to discover the eclectic approaches to the possibilities of arts expression and collaboration in many different parts of Asia.
Last week 3331 hosted a screening and presentation by Thai artist Patavee Viranuvat, also attended by the minister of the Thai embassy. Patavee presented his work in progress "ofukuronikanpai" which he has been filming during his residency at s-air, Sapporo under the Japan Foundation's Jenesys Project. Although not yet completed the poetic yet honest work already has a strong character and impacted upon the audience its message of motherly love as well as the difficulties which mothers face. Patavee then gave a detailed commentary upon his new work describing the motivation for its creation, stemming from his own family relationships
This week saw the next in these series of talks, this time held by Vietnam artists and organizers Nguyen Anh Tuan (Mami) and Nguyen Phuong Linh. They provided a rich insight into the development of the contemporary art scene in Hanoi and wider Vietnam, and in particular highlighted the important contribution of Vietnam's first alternative art space "Nha San Studio", which they are both involved in running. Linh introduced some of the first generations of artists active in contemporary art in Vietnam as well as providing an overview of her own work, including a major research project into the salt industry throughout the country, which eventually took the form of an ambitious sculptural/installation series. Mami shared his in depth knowledge of the performance art scene in Hanoi, completed with commentaries upon his own oeuvre of performative actions, highly political and personal at the same time.
These presentations were followed by performances by both artists. Linh, half dressed, performed a simple, but highly sexualized action of drinking milk, spitting it into a polythene bag then pouring its contents over herself. Mami requested the audience's participation in the realization of his work, asking each individual to bite his arm after he had shaved and disinfected it. Showing no sign of pain he calmly walked from person to person in this violent yet somehow sensual exchange.