Text by CLOT Magazine
Chisenhale Gallery presents Becoming Alluvium, the first solo exhibition in a UK institution by Ho Chi Minh City-based artist Thao Nguyen Phan. The exhibition, on view until December 6, 2020, continues Phan’s ongoing research on the Mekong River. Through a film and a series of lacquer and silk paintings, the artist simultaneously explores real and imaginary worlds. While the video installation tells stories of destruction, reincarnation and renewal in three chapters, centred around the ebb and flow of the Mekong River, the series of paintings titled Perpetual Brightness, made in collaboration with artist Truong Cong Tung, uncovers the cultural, agricultural and economic significance of the river.
The exhibition maps the past, present and future of the Mekong River, questioning what Phan describes as a “state of collective amnesia” in relation to the threat posed by the excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources. The Mekong River runs through Tibet, China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Becoming Alluvium is produced and commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation in collaboration with Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona; WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; and Chisenhale Gallery.