Tet, for me, this year is different. Not different in the fact that I will spend half of it Cambodia (as I did last year). The new year looks like it's going to be extremely busy for me. I will continue to balance my time between the creation of new artwork on one hand and my design responsibilities for Uyen's company on the other. This post deals less with the tradition or festivities of Tet, but rather is a pause for reflection on the near future.
No red envelopes. No orange trees and yellow blossoms. No pictures of dogs, fireworks or calligraphy. Just a time to deliberately hang laundry while considering the metaphor of arrangement and duration.
My good friend, Chaw Ei has just left Vietnam after spending an incredible one month in Saigon and Hoi An where she met with artists - bringing Burma to Vietnam. I know many of my colleagues have enjoyed her company and insight and we all wish her a safe and productive time back home and hope to see her again in the very near future.
Another good friend, Kimling Lam, is currently in Ho Chi Minh City writing an article on Vietnamese artists for the central California-based arts magazine, ArtWorks. She has met with Bertrand and Sandrine from the Wonderful District and has schedule a meeting with Quynh from Galerie Quynh. I hope she is able to get the information she needs to write a fantastic piece.
Jay Brown, Director of the Lijiang Studio in Yunnan, will be arriving to Ho Chi Minh City looking for artists that might be interested in their residency program. The directors of the new Galerie Mirchandi + Steinruecke in Mumbai, India have postponed their trip to Vietnam to concentrate on their opening on February 14. They are interested in meeting Vietnamese artists for a possible curated exhibition in Mumbai in the near future.
I am still producing the final paintings for my upcoming exhibition in Phnom Penh. Above is a draft of the announcement. We all feel this to be a very important event providing yet another connection between the arts communities of the Sub-Mekong region. I look very much to working and listening to our friends in Cambodia. Beyond the exhibition, we will have a workshop and a panel discussion, both critical elements to improving the dialogue between our two communities. From what we know, it will be the first time Vietnamese artists will be showing in an solo exhibitions in Phnom Penh. If you know the long and recent history between our two nations, you can understand the complexity and hope that we have.
I hope to put more time into my work, particularly painting and three-dimensional work this year. Now that I'll have my first studio space I think I'll be able to concentrate on more complete and ambitious art projects.
I am hopeful for this upcoming year and feel positive, although rushed, about its beginning. Happy New year, or as we say in Vietnamese, Chúc mừng năm mới!