Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — An open exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Vanderpool will open on May 20. It will showcase the process of installing artwork in the gallery space.
The exhibition will display a multi-faceted combination of costumes, wall paintings and photographs.
Titled Garment Girl, the exhibition includes a large-scale, three-panel mural. Each panel will be an archival digital print consisting of imagery evoking questions about workers and the apparel and textiles industry. The second component will include poetic documentary videos shown as two projections.
The videos include interviews with Vietnamese people who have worked in Los Angeles garment sweatshops that the artist met while creating Worker in 2010-11, when she was the artist-in-residence at Pitzer College, Claremont University. Vanderpool had interacted with apparel industry scholars, activists and workers for the project.
The source material for Worker was based on the story of Vanderpool’s immigrant working-class family. The narrative was based on her grandmother’s reminiscences about working as a cook in a sweatshop in the Alleghany Mountains and her mother’s stories about sewing shirt collars to pay for her college tuition fees.
The third component of the exhibition will include textiles that Vanderpool is designing, which will be displayed as material objects as well as garments. An unusual fashion show, with models displaying new garments from the “remade workshop” of Vanderpool and Hà Nội-based artist-designer Phạm Hồng in the previous week, will be held on the day of the exhibition’s opening ceremony.
With the opportunity to visit an open studio from May 12-18, viewers have been able to directly observe the entire process of setting up the exhibition as well as interact with the artist for inquiries regarding the show. They will also have the opportunity to be invited to volunteer for some exhibition-related work.
The exhibition will interlace the artist’s matrilineal family stories of struggle with the work of unseen labourers toiling in sweatshops in downtown Los Angeles. Employing Worker as a foundation, Garment Girl will develop a transnational narrative between the garment industry in Los Angeles and Việt Nam, evoking questions about the global textile industry as its subject.
Vanderpool is a new-genre artist who works across media to reveal relationships between physical landscapes and the unseen forces that shape them, knitting together narratives about forgotten institutions, people and communities.
She has received funding for the exhibition from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Kunstrådet: Danish Arts Council, Swedish Arts Council and Malmö Stad as well as the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant for her community art outreach work and a National Endowment for the Arts: Art Works grant for her curatorial work.
The exhibition will be open to the public until May 30 at Heritage Space, first floor, Dolphin Plaza building, No 6,Nguyễn Hoàng Street, Mỹ Đình 2, Nam Từ Liêm District. — VNS