LET'S HAVE A SEAT

2021

mixed-media, interactive installation

The work aspires to recreate a primitive space of gathering and food sharing, the premises for many cultural practices that are falling into oblivion due to their non-orthodox regionality. Xuan Ha invites you to join an intimate meal with a typical Quang dish: "pork rice paper dipped in fish sauce".

In Quang Nam, rice paper is a popular dish from the past with many oral anecdotes. There is no specific official document that can provide details about the origin/development of this cuisine; what are the possibilities in cultural exchanges that have left the present day rice paper with its distinctive regionalism? Confronting this floating, unidentified but culturally dominant feature, rice paper fascinates Xuan Ha.

The rice paper sheets are used by the artist as paper for written notes, sketching, framing. From the role of |cuisine| to |feed a body|, rice paper is transformed into |artworks| to |conceptualize an idea|. By expanding the possibilities of performance, Xuan Ha poses new roles for spatial regime in artwork displaying and materials, the “rice paper” becomes a multimedia work, the dining table becomes an installation, the audiences become the performers, and the work disappears at the end of the collective practice.

 

So, "let’s have a seat", and eat with Xuan Ha.

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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.

Written by Bao Han Nguyen and edited by Xuan Ha. 

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© 2021 Nguyen Vu Xuan Ha

"Let's have a seat" with the museum staff and production team of ESOK JB21

Photo by Jakarta Biennale Production Team