LET'S HAVE A SEAT
“Feeling like a performance”- said one of the participants at the meal.
After three months of isolation due to Covid, I sent a basic question to a few friends: “What is important to you at the moment?”, they responded to me in the phrase “Let’s have a/an…”. I wrote all that on bánh tráng (Vietnamese rice paper), and invited people to eat a familiar dish in the Central region of my hometown – “bánh tráng cuốn thịt heo” (spring roll). This dish is not fussy, all ingredients are very easy to prepare, boiled meat (or boiled shrimp), raw vegetables are rolled together and dipped with fish sauce. The wishes that the people send to me are just as simple and pure. While eating, we can discuss/talk/laugh or not, but it's all wrapped up and swallowed all in. During that process I understood in the purest way that when there is a reflective head, art is anything, art is something that cannot be separated from any context in life, and art evoke the joy of our life in the most tragic.
Rice paper for me in this work is not only a food (an essential thing), but also sharing, reflection, human being, my roots and even papers for writing.
So, let’s have a seat, and eat with me.
Special thanks to Red, Van Do, Mai Huyen Chi, Hoang Anh and Uyen Minh Nguyen for sharing me these lovely thoughts. Commissioned by Jakarta Biennale 2021 ESOK with the support of Goethe-Institut.
Handwriting on Vietnamese rice paper.
Sharing and enjoying some fresh spring rolls:)