Thao Nguyen Phan
b. 1987, Vietnam; lives and works Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Thao Nguyen Phan works across video, painting and sculpture to produce poetic, multi-layered artworks which explore the historical and ecological issues facing her homeland of Vietnam. Although the works are frequently rooted in her own historic and geographic context, they speak powerfully to broader ideas around tradition, ideology, ritual and environmental change. By intertwining mythology and folklore with urgent issues around industrialization, food security and the environment, Phan’s work contemplates the urgent threats posed to the entire planet by the destruction and excessive consumption of Earth’s resources. This becomes a recurring theme across her practice and through storytelling, and the potent evocations of official and unofficial histories, her work is able to amplify narratives that are less well documented, or in some cases obscured. By drawing from literature, philosophy and lived experience, she is able to make the specific universal and the universal specific. This allows for a nuanced telling of the issues faced by us all, that are only caused by some.
Thao Nguyen Phan's recent exhibitions include Thao Nguyen Phan, Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2022); Becoming Alluvium, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2020); Monsoon Melody, WIELS, Brussels (2020); Hugo Boss Asia Art Award, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2019); Lyon Biennale, Lyon, (2019); Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2019); Poetic Amnesia, Rolex Arts Weekend, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (2018); A Beast, a God and a Line, Dhaka Art Summit; Para Site, Hong Kong; d Museum of Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2018); Poetic Amnesia, the Factory Contemporary Art Centre, Ho Chi Minh City; Nha San Collective, Hanoi (2017); and Anywhere but Here, Bétonsalon, Paris (2016). She was shortlisted for the 2019 Hugo Boss Asia Art Award and she was granted the Han Nefkens Foundation-LOOP Barcelona Video Art Production Award 2018, in collaboration with Fundaciò Joan Miró.
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