WILL PHAM



NEWS

31 MARCH 2018
Group exhibition at An Viet Foundation

8 JUNE - 1 JULY 2018    
Degree show at Royal Academy Schools

22 JUNE 2018
Performance at the British Academy

5 JULY 2018
Feature review in the Hackney Gazette

9 JULY - 31 AUG 2018
Asia Art Activism Researcher in Residence and screening, Raven Row

15 AUG 2018
Screening selected by Recreative at The South London Gallery

29 SEPT - 31 DEC 2018
CFCCA Taipei Artist Village, Artist in Residence Exchange, Taiwan

1 NOV - 30 NOV 2018
Group exhibition at Space_31, Berlin

30 NOV - 23 DEC 2018
Group exhibition at Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan

1 APRIL - 17 APRIL 2019
Group exhibition at The Reef, Los Angeles

5 APRIL - 16 MAY 2019
Group exhibition at Lien Viet Housing Association

24 MAY - 6 JULY 2019
Solo exhibition at Turf Projects

29 OCT 2019 
Screening selected by DAM Projects, Closeup Cinema

14 NOV 2019
Screening selected by Perch Arts, Ringcross Community Centre

24 APRIL - 12 JULY 2020
Solo exhibition at CFCCA Manchester

ABOUT

Born in London, UK, 1990

Lives and works in London

Foundation Fine Art, Chelsea UAL, 2009- 2010

BA Fine Art, Chelsea UAL, 2010- 2013

Exchange Programme, Emily Carr University, Vancouver, 2012

Postgraduate Fine Art, Royal Academy Schools, 2015- 2018






An Viet (Well Settled), 2018
HD video installation, stereo sound, colour, furniture, framed print
19 mins 20 secs



Royal Academy of Art, London

8 June- 1 July 2018

‘An Viet (Well Settled)’, 2018, is a video installation exploring the history and current reality of 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, the first Vietnamese councillor for Hackney and recieved a MBE from the Queen in 2006. 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 partnerships between the UK and craft villages in Hai Duong, Vietnam. Vietnamese refugees started arriving to Britain following the fall of Saigon in the Vietnam American War and subsequent wars with China and Cambodia. The UK resettled several thousand but its own dispersal policy created disenfranchisement, isolation and lack of community. Vietnamese refugees began to move to larger cities such as Birmingham and London, and self organise to create their own community centres.

The film revisits these many historical layers from the artist’s personal viewpoint as a second-generation Vietnamese Londoner.  Will Pham introduces the film with a BBC news report from the late 90s, featuring Mr Vu recounting his escape from Vietnam. He then revisits the centre in 2018, where he facilitates conversations about the history of the An Viet Foundation such as a reading by Toan, Mr. Vu’s son, from his father’s autobiography. Pham also focuses on objects and materials within the building such as Vietnamese new year masks, multi coloured dragon costumes and archival images, reflecting on memory, time, light and Vietnamese music. 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, areas becoming gentrified and a growing inequality between rich and poor. Pham is interested in how civic activism can create a sense of belonging, pride and poignancy despite the futile act to affect social change in the face of broader structural issues. Pham is interested in using the archive and historical objects as tools to address contemporary political issues and imagining the future.

The wider context of this work is austerity policies and its root causes due to the 2008 financial crash which was caused in part by reckless loans by banks and mortgage lending. The by-product of government cuts to public spending lead to cuts in public services, closures in community centres and loss of jobs. This led to the scapegoating and blame on immigrants and refugees which in part resulted in the Brexit referendum. The wider context of this work is globalisation and Britain adjusting itself after the collapse of the British Empire and decolonisation and the flaws within the design of capitalism itself that causes financial crashes. 


Film credits:

Director, Camera, Editor, Sound, Subtitles: Will Pham
Cast in order of appearance: Neba K, Toan Vu, Cuong Pham, Hana Le
Music, translation, editing support: Cuong Pham, Hana Le
Post-production sound: Rob Szeliga
Colour correction: Clara Jo
Installation: Lidija Kononenko, Rachel Jones, Harminder Judge, RA workshop team, Hau-Yu Tam
Archival material, chairs and wooden shelving unit provided by An Viet Foundation
Text read from ‘Catholic with Confucian tendencies: The extreme adventures of a Vietnamese boat person by Vu Khanh Thanh’.
Song 1: Còn nhớ còn thương [I still long for, I still love]’ by Phương Đại & Phương Hồng Quế
Song 2: ‘Ru Con [Lullaby]’ from Vietnam: Songs of Liberation

Photo credit: Andy Keate