Tate St Ives Cornwall – Thao Nguyen Phan
This is an exhibition by a little-known Vietnamese artist at the Tate St Ives until May 2022.
We just stumbled across this event with our main purpose being to update on the works of artists working in Cornwall. It turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable and thoughtful experience.
The joy of the unexpected.
I cannot describe the works on show better than …
… to quote the Tate’s guide:
Thao Nguyen Phan (born 1987) interrogates the histories and potential futures of her homeland of Vietnam. Phan maps the turbulent history of the Mekong River with poetic observations of the diverse cultures and ecologies that rely upon it today.
In painting, sculpture, moving image and sound, the artist suggests a ‘softer, gentler kind of modernity’. She proposes a past and future in which the indigenous knowledge on Mekong communities is valued as much as modern progress.
Phan amplifies the oppressed and silenced stories of Vietnam, and in her new work, Cambodia. She works collaboratively with individuals and communities to develop new and inclusive narratives about the region and its history. Archive documents and oral records are dramatized through video and animation, merged with traditional silk painting and lacquer work techniques.
Combining voices and materials from different places and times, Phan collapses then redrafts the standardised histories of Vietnam and wider south-east Asia.
Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett.
Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into the art world, share an insight, smile at a joke and maybe even be informed a little.
Al regularly visits the major galleries in the UK and whenever possible, mainland Europe and the USA. He keeps up to date by subscribing to many periodicals, viewing documentaries and the news in general.
Al paints and sculpts himself and frequently sketches in-situ. He has written a book ‘The Primacy of Your Eye’ designed to give people some insights to enhance their experiences in galleries. Fully illustrated with 400 sketches and drawings of major art works and their artists, the book takes the reader on a journey through topics to perhaps consider enriching the viewing experience.
To many, the art world is daunting, to others it holds little interest. A gentle submersion at a depth to suit the individual can produce rich and rewarding results.
That’s the purpose of Art-Tales.