Record, Retrieve, Reactivate, 2018
Curated exhibition with interventions and 3 channel video installation, 15 mins

Photo credit Jalaikon & Hau-Yu Tam

Excerpt (coming soon)

An Viet Foundation, London

10 February- 31 March 2018

This exhibition is a collaboration between Will Pham and Cuong Pham and looks at the 36-year history of An Viet Foundation - a community centre in Hackney for Vietnamese refugees providing language support, employment training, business advice, social and health activities, the first Vietnamese UK housing association, a restaurant and a Southeast Asia research library. It was founded by Mr Vu Thanh Khanh MBE, who was a Vietnamese boat refugee himself and the first Vietnamese councillor for Hackney.

The exhibition focuses on a series of actions/ interventions to revitalise a former vietnamese refugee community centre in Hackney. This is by inviting artists to reuse/reactivate parts of the building using discussion, performance and curation. Will Pham also presented a 3 channel video installation revealing moments in the lead up to the exhibition which you dont usually see, the processes involved in caring for and using the space- cleaning, hanging up works, the feelings of futility and so on. 

This exhibition uses the current issues surrounding the founders ill health and the growing cooption of community spaces and gentrification in the local area to revisit the foundations history and its recurring/ residual political legacies to ask younger generations about inheritance, archiving, community, creativity, education, care and responsibility. 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 exhibtion 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? 

* Performance at 3pm by Sung Tieu
* 3 channel video installation by Will Pham
* A curated display by Cuong Pham & Will Pham
* Magazines and print media discussion with Jalaikon and Ha Vu
* Food and drinks by LESAM SOAS society
* Learn about SOAS London East & Southeast Asian Society (LESAM)