80 × 80 × 51 (cm)

Mixed-media (Found soil, sand, gravel, rocks, plants, grass, and wood; water, PVA glue, LED lights).



‘The table was made to service man; it allows us to sit – alone or together, so that we can be with our thoughts, or gather with our family and loved ones. Soil is a source of nutrients for all living things – plants and people alike. It is also where we return to once we pass away, to decompose and become again a part of this earth. But soil cannot be made by man. We can choose on which soils to live; we can improve or even move it. But we cannot give birth to it.’

In the work ‘Focus’, Xuân Hạ turns upside down the connotations that are usually attached to particular visual and material symbols. The surface of a table is now on the floor, rendering its intended function – a space for reflection and dialogue – useless. Plant roots – isolated and removed from its ecosystem – now pierce the air instead of digging into soil. An unnatural gesture, a declaration of life and death, an acute metaphor for the violent relationship between humans and nature. Understandings of this relationship are pushed further still, as the artist mixes, molds, shapes, and presses the mixture of natural materials (soil, sand, gravel, rocks, dead plants and grass) to create a man-made object (a table). Under the forces of human touch, even Mother Earth will have to surrender.

Description from No more, not yet Exhibition Catalog, 2023.