White sand inspires artist to imagine and create

February 26, 2021 - 09:51
An art exhibition by Xuân Hạ depicts her life through personal experiences and external materials in her homeland in the central region. 


Visitors at the exhibition Nắm Cát Tha Hương (The White Sand in Exile) at Old Soul art centre at Lê Thanh Nghị Street in Đà Nẵng. Photo facebook Old Soul

ĐÀ NẴNG — An art exhibition by Xuân Hạ depicts her life through personal experiences and external materials in her homeland in the central region. 

Nắm Cát Tha Hương (The White Sand in Exile) is her work exploring the issues of sand exploitation in her hometown in Thăng Bình District in the south-central province of Quảng Nam. 

She reflects the impact it has on the material and spiritual life of the local residents.  

Hạ uses glass bottles she has collected that had washed up on shore to create her work. 

"White sand spreads across the seaside communes. Houses are built on sand. Trees are planted on sand. The tourism industry is built on sand. People’s graveyards are built on sand," exhibition visitor Thảo Hương said.

"I was born in the central region and sand is something that is very familiar in my life.

"The exhibition brings emotions and memories of my childhood. I witnessed the river in my homeland drying up in summer because sand turned into cement. I visit my maternal grandparent's graveyards with white sand and bushes."

The exhibition originates from the culture of people that live in the central region, those that have attached their life to the sand.

A work entitled Trở Về (Back Home) is the glass bottles which include the date and the place they were found. 

Mắc Cạn (Stranded) is broken glass bottles, monolithic glass and photos printed on paper and photos of bottle caps were printed on glass. 

The series focuses on experimenting with materials, transforming both the forms and ideas of the glass bottles that Xuân Hạ collected.

By arranging and spreading the pieces, she recreates the scenes she has witnessed, including glass bottles lying across the wet shore and the graves on the dry white sand.

Xuân Hạ, born in Đà Nẵng City, is a visual and multimedia artist. 

In her recent work, she looks at the impact of urbanisation and industrialisation on millennial behaviour, especially in Việt Nam.

Through various forms of experimenting with space, using fragments of daily materials and manipulating moving images, her work is documentation born out of opposition between herself and the changes of her environment.

She has been an active practitioner in the local art community since the end of 2015 when she co-founded the art collective Chaosdowntown Cháo in HCM City.

She currently lives and works in Đà Nẵng and co-founded A Sông Club in the hope of learning and understanding more about her homeland.

The exhibition is held under the Cultural and Creative Hub Việt Nam Project which is funded by the European Union and the British Council.

It is running until Sunday at 102 Lê Thanh Nghị Street, Đà Nẵng City. — VNS