Thu Van Tran — 24 heures à Hanoï


Film, painting, poetry, sculpture

Thu Van Tran
24 heures à Hanoï

Past: April 19 → June 30, 2019

24 heures à Hanoï follows a woman as she meanders through a city she does not know, during the time span of one rotation of the Earth, divided equally between one day and one night. This cycle leads to a succession of revelations to which Hoa Mi responds mutely: the silence of contemplation, and that of the outsider. Innocent and kind, she is a sort of lost Candide, except for what she’s doing: retracing a family history long kept buried. Hoa Mi the lock picker.

The past is sometimes unable to intercede in the present. But on the contrary, in Hanoi, time’s circle seems to have been distorted into an imperfect curve, like the country’s sinuous and humid geography. Past and present confront each other in a ceaseless, futile tug of war. No future emerges on the horizon. Dreaming or awake? These twenty-four hours are a theater of apparitions, souls who will revisit our present existence, turtles who will recite poems while we remain prisoners of the discord of a country now transfixed by the paradoxes of its past.

This dead end, closed off centuries before to the history of Vietnam at the moment when it lost its original language—can the enchanted eyes of an outsider finally find a way out?”

Excerpt from the narration of the film 24 heures à Hanoï

Thu Van Tran, born in 1979 in Ho Chi Minh City, drew on her own experience as a Vietnamese women living in France to explore the question of physical and cultural displacement, especially through episodes in colonial history.

Here that personal experience is transcribed into an initiatory journey and the reality of a political context. For 24 heures à Hanoï she conceived an unusual metaphor inspired by the spirit of the eighty-two wise turtles, the guardians of Vietnam’s poetic and scholarly heritage, located in Hanoi’s Temple of Literature. The artist made an installation using wax sculptures to restore their presence. Their mute presence is paired with an experimental 16mm film and a fresco pierced with shards that punctuate the exhibition’s stories and poetry.

As in all of her work, here she introduces aesthetic experience as a modality of a possible rereading of history, wonderment as a counterpoint to violence.

The exhibition has received the support of the Taguchi Art Collection, Tokyo, and the help of RAJA Group.
Thu Van Tran is represented by galleries Meessen de Clercq, Brussels and Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich.

94 Val-de-Marne Zoom in 94 Val-de-Marne Zoom out

La Manufacture des Œillets,
1 Place Pierre Gosnat

94200 Ivry s/ Seine

T. 01 49 60 25 06

Mairie d'Ivry

Opening hours

Wednesday – Friday, 2 PM – 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Closed on public holidays

Admission fee

Free entrance

Jc ap opencall 02 original

The artist

  • Thu Van Tran