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Two channel video installation, HD, color, sound
The video installation Tropical Siesta begins with a tranquil landscape of rice paddies in rural Vietnam, where children are profiled carrying farming tools, an agricultural community whose only building given presence is a dusty and derelict primary school. Painted images of school children soon appear hovering over the wooden desks of a classroom, these animated figures eventually giving way to real yawning boys and girls, their unusual ‘beds’ seemingly not hampering the daytime snooze that pervades. A story is narrated in subtitle, below these panned out frames.
Through literature, philosophy and daily life, Thao Nguyen Phan observes ambiguous issues in social convention, history and tradition. Today, in addition to her work as a multimedia artist, she has joined forces with artist Trương Công Tùng and curator Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần to form Art Labor. This collective explores cross-disciplinary practices and develops art projects that will benefit the local community. Thao Nguyen Phan is expanding her “theatrical fields”, including what she calls performance gesture and moving images.