A Chapter in the Jungle Book Project
Over the last three years, Artist Initiative CommandN has coordinated and run a series of exhibitions: KANDADA/Project Collective, introducing a variety of art projects from Japan and overseas, with an objective to actively research the possibilities of interaction between contemporary art and local society. In 2008 this activity developed into a broader research project on artist-driven, independent art projects within Asia.
Chosen from amongst a number of organizations visited in this Asian research project, Richard Streitmatter-Tran from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has been invited to KANDADA as a guest artist. He will present his work for the first time in Japan, and also appear as a panelist in an associated symposium. Having spent his early years in the USA, Richard is able to observe objectively the contemporary art scene in Vietnam and the states of the Mekong subregion. His activities can be said to be firmly rooted in his unique position as someone with one foot in the West and one in the East, and in his experience of living in both contrasting social regimes.
'"The Jungle Book" is a series of long-term investigations into fact and fictions from the Mekong region of Southeast Asia. Combing research and production, art works ranging from installation, photogrpahy, video and performance will be arranged as Chapters and cover subject as varied as feral children, maritime piracy, early anthropology and science. Playing off Rudyard Kipling's collection of short fantastical stories, I will be presenting work in progress at Kandada, using the space as a planning and idea room for disparate ideas relating to this interesting region of Asia.' - Richard Streitmatter-Tran
Traditional Burmese, Vietnamese and Cambodian motifs and tropes parachuted into a converted publishing warehouse in concrete Tokyo: 'Where There Is Left, Let There Be Right' gives viewers a whiff of the Mekong even while using mostly reconstructed ready-to-hand materials. You peer into a small aperture carved out of a cardboard "listening tree" to watch video footage of Mekong residents sailing down waterways (a traditional gesture of receptivity to embedded myths and history inspired in part by Tony Leung's pilgrimage to a listening tree at the ruins of Angkor Wat in the final scene of Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood For Love). In spite of its scrappy, low-budget aesthetic, the experience is transportative, recreating a moment of communion with a distant culture. - Darryl Wee, Tokyo Art Beat
Project Space Kandada
1/F Seikosha 3 - 9 Kandanishikicho
101 0054 Japan
Tel: 03 3518 6176
When: 13/2/2009 - 7/3/2009
Where: Project Space Kandada, Tokyo
Artists: Richard STREITMATTER-TRAN
Images of the residency and exhibition on-> flickr
Posted by on February 27, 2009 1:16 AM | Permalink