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Artist Statement

Born amidst the collapse of communist regimes and the disintegration of the old Soviet Union, I spent my childhood observing the limitations of Doi Moi and slow political reforms. Immersed in the modern scientific and technological revolution, I found myself distanced from the Vietnam War and nationalism as I sought my own identity. My work delves into our inner being, exploring the unseen world within and around us, the interconnectedness of life, our symbiotic relationships with nature, and the spiritual dimension of our existence.

Fueled by my endless curiosity about modern environmental science and my respect for the Vietnamese belief "Vạn vật hữu linh" (All beings have souls), my works straddle the line between science and spirituality, fusing new discoveries with ancient myth. I am re-imagining the natural order, challenging established hierarchies beyond human understanding, celebrating the individuality and equality of all beings on Earth, and advocating for species equalism.

UNTITED 2 Altar-in-progress (2023)
Just-in-case-HN
8100:1 - Foliage IV (2022)
The Altar (2021)
The Benign Offering

THE ALTAR SERIES

2019 - On going series

"We must approach them with compassion and our devotion to work with plants must begin with gratitude and praying to the spirits of the trees".

Tradition of the Dyers, Maeda Ujo

Trees are living beings created by nature, just as we are. They start their lives in the forest, grow old and die, they communicate through roots, veins and properly something we have not discovered yet. Trees could live for centuries, witness history, hold natural knowledge, and together create forests that become breathing archives of biodiversity, human indigenous cultures as well as solutions for our modern souls. There must be a universe beyond our understanding of this perpetual complex tree community.

People's perceptions of the nature are based on both their knowledge of the environment as well as their relationship with the supernatural. Hence, the nature serves both a practical, as well as a spiritual function.

The trees are at once the source of human subsistence and creation. To this extent, there is no distinction between the sacred and the material. We log trees, felling and skidding them, or girdle them... but do we heal them? Why is it acceptable for a man cut down a tree and replace it with a new one?

 

As I pray for my ancestors in front of my home altar twice a month, thankful for the lives they give me and my family, I would like to do the same for other beings that give us all necessities to stay alive.

The altar once was defined as a sacred obiect that we believe functions as a conveyance to connect human with the spiritual realm. I believe making an altar carefully by hand, stitch by stitch, thread by thread is a way to pass on my devotion of time and sincerity to it. My altar becomes an offering itself, hoping nature will take it and forgive our sin, and I become a worshipper with an offer that though might fall into oblivion, my soul can rest peacefully into nature.

HOLOBIONT

2020

Citizen Earth Exhibition, Hanoi Museum of Biology

"Holobionts," a long-term project that initiated in 2020, suggests an immersive exploration into the intricate symphony between a host and the myriad species dwelling within and around it. This amalgamation, a holobiont, constitutes a discreet ecological entity, exemplified by the remarkable ecosystems of coral reefs, soil matrices, and human beings.

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