An Viet (Well Settled)
2018
HD video, stereo sound, colour
19 mins 20 sec

An Viet (Well Settled) explores the An Viet Foundation- a closed down community centre in Hackney formerly serving Vietnamese refugees for over 35 years providing language support, employment training, business advice, health and social activities, the first Vietnamese UK housing association, a restaurant and a Southeast Asian research institute. It was founded by Mr Vu Thanh Khanh MBE who was a Vietnamese boat refugee and the first Vietnamese councillor for Hackney. The An Viet House was converted from a former bathhouse on Englefield Road.

An Viet Foundation pioneered several projects including outreach educational workshops with secondary schools, proposals for a Vietnam Village as part of the London Olympics and economic development partnership between the UK and traditional craft villages in Hai Duong, Vietnam. Vietnamese refugees started to leave by boat following the fall of Saigon in the Vietnam American War and subsequent wars with China and Cambodia and environmental issues during 1979 onwards. They mainly arrived from Hong Kong refugee camps following the British handover of Hong Kong in 1997.

The film celebrates the legacy of the An Viet Foundation’s achievements against a precarious socio-political backdrop where community spaces are being systematically dismantled due to austerity measures, areas becoming gentrified and growing inequality. Pham reactivates the building by facilitating social events, reconsidering materials within the southeast asian library and documenting the transformation. The work creates a sense of belonging, pride and poignancy despite the futile act to affect social change in the face of broader structural neoliberal ideologies.

Credits:

Exhibited at Royal Academy Schools, London, 2018
Photo credit: Andy Keate
Furniture from An Viet Foundation
Sound design: Rob Szeliga
Music support: Cuong Pham
Translation support: Clara Jo
Cast: Neba K, Toan Vu, Cuong Pham, Hana Le
With thanks to everyone at Royal Academy Schools




Record, Retrieve, Reactivate
2018
Socially engaged artwork, community participation

Text: What can An Viet be to me? // Thuỳ Dương V., Samboleap Tol & Will Pham
2018
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Record, Retrieve, Reactivate was an exhibition at the An Viet Foundation focusing on a series of actions/ interventions to revitalise the abandoned vietnamese refugee community centre in Hackney. This is by inviting artists to reactivate parts of the building using discussion, performance and curation. Will Pham presented a 3 channel video installation, a study of damage and care, picking up details of the buildings surface, revealing cleaning and transformation of the space linking the history of the previous life of the building as a bathhouse and community health. Sung Tieu performed ‘inferiority complex’ in the dark, Jalaikon and Ha Vu discussed magazines and print media, and Hau Yu Tam facilitated a focus group based on LESAM society at SOAS. The uniting work was a display of objects, banners and photographs from the An Viet Foundations archive by Will Pham and Cuong Pham.

This exhibition uses the urgency of this political moment around community, identity and the urgency of the founder Mr.Vu’s ill health, as a timely way to look at the 36 year history of the An Viet Foundation. Objects in the archive are used as starting points with the materials reframed, enlarged and repositioned in the space to speak and negotiate manifold histories and narratives. The exhibition explores questions such as how does an exhibition come about? What is curating? Whose stories get spoken for? Whose responsibility is it to care for these materials? What happens with these stories and objects? By creating a form of collectivity, this exhibition hopes to not find solutions individually but to form solidarity and collaborative practise which in itself, relates to the initial energy that drove first generation vietnamese refugees to self organise and start the foundation 40 years ago. In a way, this work speaks about what is civic activism? How is society and culture formed? How and what institutions are available for certain communities and what does it mean for that community when an institution has died or supposedly achieved its mission and has to close?

Through creating an exhibition as a form of civic action and inviting prominent people including the mayor of hackney, local MPs and other stakeholders, the exhibition shed new light and value upon this community centre. Following from this and through the tireless ambition and negotiations from other stakeholders such as Hackney Chinese Community Services and Kalangun, Hackney Council pledged to support £400k in investment and a further £35k to set up services and renovate the building. The An Viet Foundation however, was formally dissolved due to outstanding debts and replaced by the chinese and filipino community centres leaving further questions around the inheritance of An Viet Foundations objects, histories and narratives.

Credits:

Exhibited at An Viet Foundation, 2018
Collaborators: Cuong Pham, Hana Le, Hau-Yu Tam
Photo credit: Jalaikon
With thanks to Hackney Chinese Community Services




Diaspora, Ma Homey
Exhibition: 1 November - 30 November 2018
Space_31, Berlin

ASAI
Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho
CFGNY
Samuel Ibram
Mai-Thu Perret
Will Pham
Soda Plains
TROI OI (Sung Tieu & Nhu Duong)

TROI OI conceives a group exhibition of contemporary artists, fashion designers and musicians from diaspora communities originally from Southeast Asia and considers the recent and ongoing movement of people within and away from the region after the Cold War, and its related aspects of migration, dislocation, resettlement and hybridity.

In “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” Jamaican-born, British sociologist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall, addresses issues of identity in relation to cultural practice and proposes thinking of cultural identity as a ‘production’, constantly in process and constituted within, and not outside, representation. Based on the black diaspora in England, he describes the experience of the migrant as one of displacement and hybridity, in cultures and experiences. He concluded that individuals have more than one identity: the first is based on shared cultural codes, history and collectivity, which people hold in common and that is artificially imposed as “selves”; and the second, which is based on an active process of production, which responds to ruptures and points of difference and is therefore a matter of ‘becoming’ as well as ‘being’, continuously transforming through a ‘play of history, culture and power’.*

Taking the artworks as a starting point in engaging with socio-historical or autobiographical accounts of the diaspora experience, the exhibition draws attention to the act of crossing permeable, geopolitical and cultural borders. These experiences may be configured by mobility, social exclusion, integration and new identity formation.

Conceived as a platform to initiate dialogue on diaspora and movement through art, fashion and music, “Diaspora, Ma Homey”, specifically investigates two defining passages of dispersion: the first in regards to exiting, or leaving the home country for personal, political or economic reasons and the second with being forced to culturally adapt, transform, integrate or hybridise within the new home country.

Together, these migratory passages invite new ways of thinking about borders as an enduring cultural and geopolitical divide in a progressively borderless global society.

Developed around the notion of ‘diaspora’ as methodological framework, the works not only reflect the artists’ impression of their own experiences of transitory life, but also examine the migratory circumstances that have shaped Europe as a region of diverse ethnicities, religions, and languages.

Featuring diverse practices, “Diaspora, Ma Homey” doesn’t seek to define, nor survey, “diasporic” art, fashion or music but to be a conversation with the audience about the experience of diaspora that reveals itself in the works, by exploring the everyday significance of territorial, ideological and social borders, political and cultural identity, and home and belonging.

* Stuart Hall “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” (1994)

TROI OI is an interdisciplinary project between Nhu Duong and Sung Tieu offering a platform to examine their cultural heritage as Vietnamese immigrants living in Western Europe.



The Lands Of
Exhibition: April 1 - 17, 2019
Reception: Saturday, April 13, 7-10pm
The Reef, Los Angeles

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Love's Remedies is excited to host a group show hosted by Vickie Aravindhan and Ariel including:

Vickie Aravindhan
Indah Datau
Divaagar
Looksorn
Vinhay Keo
Chand C Mohan
Ariel Navas
Will Pham

The region of Southeast Asia holds in its bodies a specificity and a queerness. Water bodies, human bodies, land and memory bodies that have no stage or visibility — but on what stages and through whose eyes do we wish to be seen? Which audiences and what representations are desired? Our relationship with this very space and with the world after 500 years of direct European and American colonization and settling, after being the fallow grounds and corridors through which the West and the Larger East have rested, communicated, passed and infiltrated for exchange and growth, after supplying and housing resources for others, after both wars and both economic booms and after and after — our positions and relationship with the world is a queer one.

Surrounded by power and veined with water freeways through which power has passed and continues to pass, Southeast Asia is a small region of small states and island-archipelago countries. Each (save one) with a different colonial daddy, all with histories of Japanese occupation, and all with intimate economic and cultural relationships to China and India. Within the region and across the world, its people see movement, move and are moved.

In the context of queer theory, queering is something we do, rather than something we are or are not. What is there to do when movement is a condition? Thriving bodies, in order to thrive, do not necessarily need to take on hegemonic forms of living or visibility, and answers are no longer enough.

*Love’s Remedies is an initiative of brd and Hannah Kim Varamini, and focuses on building collaborative actions and events with artists, curators and writers across Los Angeles.



TAV Residency Season 4
Exhibition: 30 Nov- 23 Dec 2018
Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan

展期 Exhibition Period/11.30(Fri.)-12.23(Sun.)
● 開放時間 Open Time/11:00-21:00(Closed on Monday)
● 開幕茶會 Opening/11.30(Fri.) 19:00
● 開幕活動 Opening Events/
〈交織─無限〉表演:西蒙.威爾拉&提姆.潘杜羅
INTERLACE_01-Infinity by Simone WIERØD & TIM PANDURO
〈無限菊〉剪紙示範:望月恵
INFINITE CHRYSANTHEMUM Paper Cutting Demonstration by Megumi MOCHIZUK
● 演出活動 Performance
12.14(五) 17:00-18:30 〈無限菊〉剪紙示範
INFINITE CHRYSANTHEMUM Paper Cutting Demonstration by Megumi MOCHIZUK
12.14(五) 19:00-19:30 〈交織─痕跡〉舞蹈演出
INTERLACE_02-Traces by Simone WIERØD & TIM PANDURO
● 地點 Venue/台北國際藝術村,百里廳 Taipei Artist Village, Barry Room
● 藝術家 Artists/望月恵 Megumi MOCHIZUKI、文有美 MOON Yumi、努波・馬圖爾&劉孝珍 Nupur MATHUR & YOO Hyojin、西蒙.威爾拉&提姆.潘杜羅 Simone WIERØD & TIM PANDURO、威爾.范 Will PHAM
● 藝術顧問 Art Consultant/曹良賓 TSAO Liang-Pin
● 短介文字 Art Consultant 's Brief Introduction/曹良賓 TSAO Liang-Pin、沈柏逸 SHENG Po-Yi














© Will Pham