The orchid

70 × 195 × 55 (cm)

Mixed-media (Found objects: wood from a dead star apple tree, broken crockery, broken porcelain, water and orchid plant; metal frame).


‘What I seek to bring together are elements that can sustain the cycle of life and death, and represent ideas of collapse and reconstruction. They are materials that have been left behind from the outer citadel itself, or found within, as well as outside of, the neighborhood. They used to belong to those who have already left, those in the process of packing, or those who are still living there, adamantly staying ‘to await their final rest’. Even though disintegrating, these matters at the same time have the ability suggest a new form of existence.’

With an air of nonchalance, Trần Tuấn’s The orchird is a combination of found objects: two remaining woodblocks from a star apple tree in the artist’s backyard which was cut down 10 years ago; discarded ceramic fragments collected near the edge of the citadel; an orchid that he ‘got down on his knees for’ from the garden of a couple who were close friends. Attempting to maintain a living organism (the orchid) whose vines trail around the two woodblocks (now lifeless) inlaid with ceramic fragments (broken and disfigured), the work can be seen as Tuấn’s reflection on the transitory, everchanging nature of life in general, rather than just a direct response to the particular predicament of the community living on the edge of the citadel.

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