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“Train Of Emotions” At Creativity Challenge Exhibition 2022

Creativity Challenge Exhibition 2022 – Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design created an opportunity for 05 creative pairs from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to realise their ideas, while also showcasing their work to the public. The five artworks are the results of the pairs’ hard work after 03 months of putting full effort into VFCD. These works were exhibited in COMPLEX 01 in Hanoi and De La Sól in HCMC from 07-24.11.2022, attracting numerous visitors who came to observe, interact and experience.

The pieces of art let the audiences embark on a “train of emotions” – from the simple, familiar feeling with Sống (The Sun Lab & Nguyễn Huyền Châu); to the wit and femininity with Thật Hư (Artist Trần Thảo Miên & Designer Linh Trịnh); the vibrancy and uniqueness of Đám Cưới Miền Tây (Insomaniaction Collective), to the all-encompassing and immersive experience with Than Thở (Architect Nguyễn Hà & Artist Trần Thảo Miên) and Crafting a Sonic City (Officine Gặp & HUM).

“Thật Hư” by material artist Trần Thảo Miên and designer Linh Trịnh was brought to the audience as a “loving scold” – both gentle and bearing a profound artistic concept. Using the figure of a pliant, graceful chicken feather duster combined with a sophisticated, simple setting, “Thật Hư” conveys the concept of flexibility, femininity and a witty perspective that reverses the original function of the feather duster, thereby challenging the stereotypes about women and entice the audience.

Details of the work are characterised by soft curves: the curves of the handle, of the base and the mat underneath. A closer look reveals fine craft elements created using traditional techniques and materials such as lacquer, bronze carving, wood shaping, and skilful chicken feather processing.

The work “Sống” (Living) by Nguyễn Huyền Châu and The Sun Lab brings the vivacity of traditional weaving crafts to the exhibition space. Weaving patterns were also prepared and displayed in a way that showed the process of creation, alongside the online archive that systematically introduce weaving craft villages, patterns and materials found across Vietnam that the group had put together. A space that gave out a familiar, simple feeling with a very Vietnamese soul!

The weaving kits at the corner of “Sống” had such a powerful appeal to the audience that whoever visited the exhibition was curious and eager to give it a go. The team also thoughtfully prepared an instruction video for visitors to watch and follow.

Two trays of fruits cleverly formed the sophisticated shapes of a dragon and a phoenix alongside an eye-catching poster were the first artworks that “drew” visitors to the corner of Insomaniaction Collective. Here, the audience could step into the world of a “wedding” and the atmosphere of life in the Mekong Delta where folk materials are rich, from sound to images in Long Trần’s tapes or the photo albums of Cái Cái. The items are somewhat reminiscent of the vibrant and familiar festival atmosphere, both casual and bustling, stylish and splendid.

The space of “Crafting a Sonic City” by Officine Gặp and HUM offers a powerful emotion for visitors with an immersive art experience with sound in a dark room with their eyes covered. A brand new, unique experience when one skips the visual and becomes completely immersed in the audio. This is also a “one but not the same” space in the exhibition this year, as the Hanoi and Saigon versions of sounds are completely different from one another, telling two different stories about the two cities.

If the soundscape of Hanoi was constructed with the crowing rooster, the exercise radio, the markets, shops, and evening activities around Hoan Kiem Lake; then the distinctive sound of Saigon is the karaoke singing from narrow alleys, the “hột dzịt lộn hột dzịt dzữa” (duck egg dishes) that anyone familiar with the city can say along… Outside of the dark room, the pair illustrated the sonic map at their recording locations, as well as a zine publication that summarises the study on urban acoustic landscape conducted by Officine Gặp. With “Crafting a Sonic City”, Officine Gặp and HUM conveyed to visitors a profound message on the meaning of sounds in shaping the identity and memory of a city.

The space of “Than Thở” (lit. Breathing Coal) by architect Nguyễn Hà and material artist Trần Thảo Miên stunned Hanoi audiences: stunned not only by the magical light effect from the “breathing coal pieces”, but also by the exhibition space: a bamboo tent draped with black fabric, creating a mysterious and sacred atmosphere for the “coal lamps”.

It could be said that “Than Thở” is a project that the audience of Creativity Challenge Playground could not predict how it would turn out to be, because the artists themselves did not know how their work would take shape until they unmould them near the exhibition date. The result surprised everyone, the papers that went through oil treatment brought numerous unique lighting effects to each “coal”, creating a complete and artistic whole.

Five works – five creative pairs made an interesting and diverse debut in front of the entire VFCD audience. And, this is just the beginning of the projects. The pairs will continue to develop and perfect their products/works, generating more value for themselves and to the community.

02.12.2022

Written by Nguyệt Cầm and Hà Bi for Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design (VFCD)
Translated into English by Nhật Hồng
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