|Large paintings made by artist Võ Trân Châu from old clothes. — Photo coutesry of The Factory|
HÀ NỘI — Artist Võ Trân Châu's largest solo exhibition will open in HCM City on February 14.
The exhibition entitled Nhặt Lá Rừng Xưa (Leaf Picking in The Ancient Forest) will feature her recent works.
In this exhibition, Châu recycles old clothes and transforms them into a number of hanging paintings. Many of them feature sites that no longer exist such as Nam Định Textile Factory; Sài Gòn Tax Trade Centre and Trà Cổ Cathedral.
Working with digital photographs of these sites, Châu turns the pictures into pixel graphs, which she uses as a foundation to recreate mosaics by sewing colour-coded fabric squares together.
By reconstructing architectural structures and symbols that have completely or partially disappeared from public memory, the artist contemplates how cultural identity is pictured and remembered.
Châu has worked with fabric for many years, which is a primary material within this exhibition.
For the last two years, Châu has been collecting garments that were dumped in unidentified containers scattered around docks in HCM City, particularly Cát Lái dock.
She recalls feeling puzzled by the excessive production of the fashion industry and its impact on the environment, particularly on developing countries who are the major production houses of the industry.
Born to a traditional craft family, the artist chooses old cloth and clothes to reflect the relationship between history and society.
She has researched Vietnamese history and culture to create artworks highlighting labour forces, consumption and waste.
Besides exhibitions in Việt Nam, Châu has held shows in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
A talk show with a presentation by the artist will be held at 4pm on February 22.
The exhibition will run until April 10 at contemporary art centre The Factory, 15 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ, Thảo Điền Ward, District 2. — VNS