The starting point of this series of works is an aluminium basin, which was a gift of the artist’s parents’ wedding in 1991 and has been used in the family ever since. In the’ 90s, Vietnam’s economy gained stability after the post-war Đổi Mới economic reform; objects were given as presents and treasured both physically and intangibly. Hereby the basin gains its significance from fragments of the childhood memories in which it was involved in daily activities such as bathing, washing clothes,cleaning vegetables, or collecting rainwater. A bar of soap, similarly held multiple purposes: from washing one’s hair and face to cleaning the entire body. These daily objects embody memories of the artist’s family,especially her Mother, resonating with the roles traditionally attached to a woman in the family. The combination between the material and the object speaks for the discrepancy. These aluminium basins are slowly damaged by the chemical nature of the soap; the accumulation of time and space together with the woman’s burdens, too, solubilised and washed way.The artwork is undertaken through scraping the soap into flimsybits,shapingthem,and waiting for them to dry. The traces of all the pressing, squeezing, and folding on the inside the bowl appear as imprints of the “labour” that on cemarked the original object. The process demonstrates her going backwards through her thinly scraped memories patiently in order to seek the final figure. The basin contain the female figure. The artwork serves to contain/ measure/ store the essences of the original aluminium bowl despite as an artwork un-finished, halfway between dreams and reality as the subject’s memory.
“No-name” in the title is the identity engravedon the grave stone of her siblings—ones that died inside my Mother.“No-Name” yet is not nameless. Regardless their flimsy lives that popped like bubbles, regardless alive or late, they all once lay inside one “basin”,shaped and bond by the same blood. Their second lives exist in her subconscious, shaped in the invisibility.
And finally the hair at the bottom of the bowl might be the last thing the artist remember(ornot).Why would it be the last thing? Because where the hair falls never becomes a question. Only we know (some)where the hair has fallen. Simple as that. Quiet as its sound. Invisible as the love of a Mother.