Poetic Politic: A Sàn Art Exhibition

Poetic Politic is a group exhibition of contemporary photography, videos, and documentaries curated by Zoe Butt; co-organized by Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco and Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City.

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Opening reception: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 6-9pm
Exhibition dates: Oct. 17 – December 12, 2012
Gallery hours: Friday – Sunday, 12-4pm, or by appointment
Venue: Gallery at Kadist Art Foundation, 3289 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Vandy Rattana
Takeo, 2009. Digital C-Print. Courtesy the artist

An My Le
Patient Admission, US Naval Hospital Ship Mercy, Vietnam 2010 Archival inkjet pigment print Courtesy the artist and Murray Guy Gallery, New York

Ten voices theatrically captured with the camera lens illustrating the diaspora reflections of contemporary Vietnam and Cambodia by artists Khavy Samnang, An My Lê, Dinh Q Lê, Ngô Đình Trúc, Uudam Nguyen, Phan Quang, Phunam, Vandy Rattana, Trần Minh Đức and Võ An Khánh.

Zoe Butt, Curator and Executive Director of Sàn Art asks, “What does it mean to live in a country like Vietnam, whose streets boast the booming voice of communist capitalism and yet the family lounge room still echoes with the memory of war? What does it mean to live in a country where traditional art forms lacking innovation struggle for contemporary relevance; where cultural curricula and public event lament the era before the Khmer Rouge wiped out intellectual life, or before Communist propaganda replaced one’s right to freedom of speech? What does it mean to possess ethnic and cultural attachment to a country whose complex memory you better recall through trauma, image and text rather than a current lived perspective? The use of photography and video by artists from Vietnam and Cambodia poetically captures the contradictions and inconsistencies of belonging, living or dreaming, about contexts that are intrinsically connected and yet perhaps, also removed. What is evident in this collection of works is the power of mobility providing reflective perspective on the social state of play in communities these artists share, care, and relate. From the theatre of war, the territorial conquests, and the pressure to politically conform and acquiesce to authority; to the touristic monopolies and mythological superstitions that perpetuate popular cultural stereotype – this exhibition is a glimpse of the talent that visually and metaphorically rephrases the presence of a political voice.”


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