Chau Vo Tran Galerie Quynh
Chau Vo TranGalerie Quynh
galeriequynh.comHo Chi Minh City
Installation view from Department of Speculation, Galerie Quynh, 2022

 

 

 

Woven into Vo Tran Chau’s practice is the intrinsic emotionality of found fabrics and used clothes, retaining within them ambiguous, yet still pertinent histories.

 

Adapting found photographs from two distinct periods — French colonialism in Vietnam and the present day, and using hand-quilting techniques and embroidery on textile, in her recent work Võ Trân Châu briefly chronicles the evolution of fashion and portraiture photography. If clothing was once made for utilitarian purposes, now it is the exterior aesthetic value that is more important. If photography was once an invention that only people with power and authority could possess — and so determined how the photographed subjects would appear; now it is so democratized to the point of overabundance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The act of threading together her squares of textile is akin to a reconstruction of the stories lost in grand narratives. In her earlier works, Vo Tran Chau navigates various sites with cultural or personal significance, subjecting them to a pixelation that draws attention to the murky waters of history. The images, blurred from view, evade our attempts to see and point to the very nature of memory: hazy, and at times wilfully amnesic.

 

Her encounters with Jeju Island – its textile techniques, the personal stories, and the religious practice of Muism – inform her spiritually-charged works, asking further questions of life and death and reincarnation. Through her method of image-making, Võ Trân Châu recognises the depth of historical wounds passed down the generations, and stitches them back as a way to heal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installation view of Leaf Picking in the Ancient Forest, CHAT/MILL6, Hong Kong, 2019. Image courtesy Lusher Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My research on the relationship between the individual, the body and the world, continues with a powerful emergence of forms of nature. The body, the flesh and nature merge in a formal complexity where “the flesh of the world” is revealed. My creative process is a constant negotiation between intuition and reason.”

 

 

 

Image courtesy Lusher Photography, Hong Kong.

 

 

Vo Tran Chau (b. 1986, Binh Thuan) graduated from the Ho Chi Minh University of Fine Arts in 2011, and has since held prestigious exhibitions within the region and abroad. Selected shows include Lunar Breccia, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City; Leaf picking in the ancient forest, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City; Where The Sea Remembers, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Unfolding: Fabric of Our Life, Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT), Hong Kong; Lingering at the Peculiar Pavilion, Manzi Art Space, Hanoi, travelled to Salon Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City; The Foliage, Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA), Hanoi; Suzhou Documents, curated by Zhang Qing and Roger M. Buergel, Suzhou Art Museum, Suzhou, China; Still (the) Barbarians, curated by Koyo Kouoh, EVA International: Ireland's Biennale of Contemporary Art, Limerick, Ireland; Tracing, Born from the Land, and My Sister, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City; Black Fog, Nha San Collective, Hanoi; Petit and Smooth, Nha San Studio, Hanoi; and Bolero, Zero Station, Ho Chi Minh City.

 

In 2015, Vo Tran Chau undertook San Art Laboratory, an arts residency initiated by San Art. She received a grant from the Danish Vietnamese Cultural Development and Exchange Fund in 2011 for the exhibition Born from the Land.

 

Vo Tran Chau lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

 

 

 

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