"The White Sand In Exile", 2020
Sculpture, Video Installation
Location: Á Space, Hanoi, Vietnam
“ White sand spreads across the seaside communes. Houses are built on sand. Trees are planted on sand. The tourism industry is built on sand. People’s graveyards are built on sand.” These concise sentences successfully imitate the direct effects humans have towards nature on the same piece of land. The open studio is the first step of Xuan Ha’s adventure - an emotional series of expeditions to find her home - a journey of working alternately between personal experiences and external materials, between the variant that only exists in memory and the confronted reality.
Departed from the delicate thrill of emotions while facing the graveyard amongst the white sand, Xuan Ha closely approached the business of extracting and mining sand in her hometown (Thang Binh, Quang Nam) - with the intent to produce glass and export to developed countries. Through that, she reflected its direct/indirect impacts on the physical and emotional wellbeing of the locals. Wandering and picking up the glass bottles that drifted to the shore from various sources, but all stuck in the same area; the artist imagined a story that seemed almost fictional but possible of a rigorous journey of returning home. After all, the doctrine of extract/ consumerism spreads across the seaside communes, the “doctrines” are built on sand, planted on sand and buried under sand. The idea “The White Sand In Exile” originates from the culture of people that live in the Central, those that have attached their life with the sand, those who would carry sand from the small sand in the creak of their sandals to the sandy white pile of incense ash on the altar. Here, the spiritual door for both worlds holds a nonrenewable natural resource.
The series of art pieces focus on experimenting with materials, transforming both the forms and ideas of the glass bottles that Xuan Ha collected. Carrying the echoed harmony of a partially fictional journey, she allows the viewers to infiltrate/ extract from a personal perspective to a public one through the use of exhibition space as well as personal one during her stay as a residential artist. By arranging the scattering and spreading of the art pieces, she intends to recreate the sceneries that were witnessed, the cluttering glass bottles lying across the wet shore, directing us to repatriate towards the land of our own thoughts and imagination.
© 2020 Nguyen Vu Xuan Ha
Open studio at Á Space, Hanoi