Le Giang: Nostalgia from Nature

Hanoi-based artist Le Giang is part of the Conscious Realities, ‘Prod/Ponder’ program of San Art in Saigon, Vietnam in cooperation with Manila-based 98B. She will have an exhibition titled "Nostalgia from Nature" at 98b Escolta which will open with an artist talk on September 26, 2015, 2pm!
Le Giang’s current practice is based on the humankind’s non-existence and nature’s adaptation based on this absence as depicted in Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us. Fascinated by the idea of a Utopia without the human race, her works probe on nature’s possible modes of adjustment if humanity is suddenly taken out of the picture; what legacy would man leave behind and what species would advance.
For her residency at 98B COLLABoratory, Giang investigated the relationship between nature and man and the connections of raw materials and manmade materials. She also looked into the mystical objects in the Philippines, most especially the natural ones. She was intrigued by how these ancient myths are still prevalent even today. Interestingly, Giang was drawn to these realities: how people exploit raw materials from nature to serve as their protection and personal desires while natural disasters occur constantly in this country.
“Nostalgia is not the opposite of utopia, but, as a form of memory, always implicated, even productive in it.” – Andreas Huyssen, Memories of Utopia
"Nostalgia from Nature" presents the sculptures as artefacts from her encounters in Mount Banahaw. Nuno sa Punso is an object that implores respect for the land from its people. Mutya - the spirit of nature’s light is a coconut shell without germination pores or commonly referred to as “blind coconuts.” This is considered as a valuable amulet or “anting-anting” for its specific location can only be revealed in one’s dreams. The posts are vestiges of a house ruined by a recent storm, found next to Banahaw’s Jesu Salem.
As theorist Ruth Levitas wrote “Representations of future utopias are always simultaneously dependent on the existing cultural resources.” The installations in the First United Building imply a Utopia or more accurately a heteroptopia, where realities are divergent and with no apparent connection, yet implying relics of correlations that have been cast and moulded through time.
Le Giang is an artist from Hanoi, Vietnam. 98B COLLABoratory’s Project and Research Residency program is the host of her residency in the Philippines. This is part of the Conscious Realities, ‘Prod/Ponder’ program of San Art in Saigon, Vietnam.
Giang’s practice is an attempt to research and depict how nature would react to the disappearance of humankind, what legacy man would leave behind and what life form would take place after such an occurence. Giang explores various mediums in her practice as she focuses on the social sciences as a key methodology in visual art and the sustainability of natural resources in economic and societal development.
98B’s Project and Research Residency is an independent residency program geared towards establishing a creative network. It endeavors to assist and collaborate with artists, gallery and art managers, cultural workers and curators in the course of their research, project, presentation or production. The program aims to build a meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange where an individual can explore his/her practice in a different environment with an uncommon set of resources. The residency is customized to their purposes, needs and requirements.
Photo: Work of Le Giang at Manzi Art Space in Hanoi for exhibition Above Under Sky, 2014.