Thùy-Hân Nguyễn-Chí lives and works in Berlin, DE, and London, UK

 

Thùy-Hân Nguyễn-Chí’s work for the 12th Berlin Biennale, This undreamt of sail is watered by the white wind of the abyss (2022), immerses the viewer in the “blue savannas of memory and imagination.”(1) The bluescreen serves as a background of a scene that contains a projection and a photograph; a boat and a hospital bed; an oxygen mask and a fire-resistant plant; thus allowing the scene to exist in any given space or time. Contemplating the intricate relationships between cinema, memory, and history, the film—codirected with Thuyền Hoa, the artist’s mother—interweaves fragments of a woman’s odyssey across the ocean on a boat from Vietnam to Thailand and then on to Germany after the American War in Vietnam by blurring the boundaries between director and performer, documentary and fiction, mythology and science fiction.

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Thùy-Hân Nguyễn-Chí, This undreamt of sail is watered by the white wind of the abyss, 2022, video installation, mixed media, dimensions variable, research image © Thùy-Hân Nguyễn-Chí

Echoing Édouard Glissant’s “The Open Boat”—where the boat is an abyss, a womb, a matrix—the hybrid sculpture acts as a vehicle, teleporting the viewer to both the ocean and the forest. Our eyes simultaneously behold two distinct events from the 1970s: a refugee floating underwater after liberating herself from a threatening situation on a boat in the South China Sea and a revolutionary, wounded in an American bombing, lying on an operation table in a medical clinic in the U Minh Forest.(2) Collapsing time and space, death and life, emergency and emergence, this video installation is a portal to a space where we are invited to expand our imaginary of freedom.

 

(1) Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation (Ann Arbor, 2010), 7.

(2) Võ An Khánh, Mobile Military Medical Clinic During The Period When The Enemy Is Defoliating, 1970, photograph.

 

Đỗ Tường Linh

Exhibitions

This is a Meat City, 2021, Art Hub Copenhagen, Copenhagen (NO)

Sets and Scenarios, 2020, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (UK)

A Situation Which Resists Completion, 2019, Atletika, Vilnius (LT)

Die Stelle des Schnitts, 2018, Kunstverein Nürnberg – Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft, Nuremberg (DE)

Otobong Nkanga: Crumbling Through Powdery Air, 2015, Portikus, Frankfurt/Main (DE)

Parked Like Serious Oysters: Graduates of the Städelschule, 2015, MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main (DE)