Objectifs Documentary Award | Artist Talk by Mai Nguyen Anh
63 YEARS (GỬI ANH TUYỀN)
By Mai Nguyen Anh
Curated by Sam I-shan
Presented as a culmination of the Objectifs Documentary Award, Open Category
Artist and curator dialogue: Tues 12 Mar, 6.30pm
Opening Reception: Tues 12 Mar, 7.30pm
Exhibition runs from 13 Mar to 14 Apr, Objectifs Chapel Gallery (Free admission)
Join us for a dialogue with Vietnamese artist Mai Nguyen Anh and curator Sam I-shan as they speak about Mai's intimate family history project, 63 Years, (Gửi Anh Tuyền). The project spans the complex history of modern Vietnam, from before the second Indochina War of 1955-75 to the present day.
The protagonists are Mai's grandmother Mrs Huong, 77, and her older brother Mr Tuyen, 81, who were parted at a young age in the early 1950s and lost contact for years after, due to multiple geopolitical circumstances. They were able to reconnect only in 1976 and with Mrs Huong living in Hanoi and Mr Tuyen in America, where he feared retaliation from the Communist party and was preoccupied with the difficulties of raising his family as refugees, the siblings were only able to reunite briefly in Hanoi in 2015 after 63 years of separation — for the first, but possibly also the last time.
With photographs, videos and narratives, Mai's ongoing project depicts the tenuousness and persistence of familial ties in the face of geographical dislocations and social crises brought about by political upheaval.
Read more about it at https://www.objectifs.com.sg/63-years/
Mai Nguyen Anh is the recipient of the Open Category award in the inaugural Objectifs Documentary Awards 2018, which champions Objectifs' mission to broaden perspectives through image making by supporting original voices in visual storytelling and in the wider region. Selected by a panel of five judges, the awardees were given professional and financial support to work on their projects over a nine month-long period.
About the Artist
Mai Nguyen Anh is a Vietnamese visual artist who has an interest in contemporary issues. His works are often a mixture of observational and poetic documentary, enriched by personal significance. Majoring in Economics at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, his interest in documentary photography led him to work in photojournalism, and he joined VnExpress Newspaper as a contract photographer in 2013. In 2015, Nguyen Anh left VnExpress and has been freelancing for various local news outlets as well as focusing on his personal projects. In 2016, he received a scholarship for and completed the One Year Certificate at the International Center of Photography in New York. He is the co-founder of Matca, an online photography community in Vietnam. Mai is the recipient of the Open Category award for the inaugural Objectifs Documentary Award in 2018.
About the Curator
Sam I-shan is a curator at National Gallery Singapore, working on modern and contemporary Singapore art. She was previously curator at Singapore Art Museum and Esplanade Visual Arts, focusing on the moving image and photography from Southeast Asia and wider Asia. At Esplanade, she curated and managed new commissions and site-specific exhibitions with a range of regional artists. Exhibitions at SAM include Afterimage: Contemporary Photography in Southeast Asia, and the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize. She also headed film and moving image initiatives at SAM including Artist Films, while co-programming the Southeast Asian Film Festival.