Hương Ngô is a interdisciplinary artist, born in Hong Kong, of Vietnamese and Chinese origin, raised in North Carolina, and based in Paris and New York.
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Hong-An Truong is an artist and writer who lives and works between New York and North Carolina. Her writing has been published in Performa 09: Back to Futurism, Asia-Pacific Journal, Southern Exposure Journal of Politics and Culture, and the catalog for Dinh Q. Le at the Contemporary Art Center of South Australia. Her work has been shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art in General, International Center for Photography, EFA Project Space, Agape Enterprise, the Tate Modern, and Pavilion (Bucharest). She will be included in this year's Artists' Film International, which will travel to the Istanbul Modern, Turkey; Ballroom Marfa, TX; Whitechapel, London; and Para/Site, Hong Kong, among other venues. Most recently her work has been discussed in The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Duke Univ. Press, 2012) by Mimi Nguyen. She is a current recipient of an Art Matters Foundation grant. Truong received her MFA at the University of California, Irvine and was a studio fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. She is an Asst. Professor the Art Department at the UNC-Chapel Hill.
Invisibility is the state at which an object cannot be seen...
Collaboration with Hong-An Truong +–
Installation with watercolor and archival pigment prints on paper, wall label.
96" x 50"
1. Invisibility is the state at which an object cannot be seen. It depends on the eyes of the observer as well as the instruments used.
2. A newspaper story:
Gainesville, Florida, September 1975.
Vietnamese Refugees Begin New Life in Gainesville.
3. A book cover:
Hunt's Tomato Sauce Cookbook, January 1976. The cover features a single large ripe red tomato.
4. U.S. National Archive image:
A photograph of a Vietnamese refugee camp with olive-green canvas tents supported on wooden platforms. One leg of the platform is supported by three wooden loading pallets. Clothing hangs on the lines supporting the tent and underneath are two black, neatly packed suitcases next to a row of wooden cots.
5. Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something.*
6. A photograph that does not exist: A small windowless office in the back of a convenience store. Light floods in through the door from the fluorescents in the store. It is late. A woman sits at a desk cluttered with papers, folders, and receipts. She punches in numbers on an adding machine and the paper tape scrolls insistently. She has taught herself how to crunch the numbers; she has taught herself how to make a record legible.
7. Invisibility is the basis of visibility; the invisible timeless; the visible timebound.
8. A newspaper advertisement: Raleigh, North Carolina, 1984.
Two story, four bedroom home with a front porch, front and back yards, and two bay windows. “Location!! Location!! Location!!”
9. A photograph: A woman stands in a living room holding an ITT motherboard. It is one of hundreds that she has hand-built over the years working at an electronics plant.
10. Many pink-cheeked girls
abandon the world
Xuất thế hồng nhan
kể cũng nhiều**
11. A diagram: Wooden fishing boat, designed for the Mekong River. It can be retrofitted to hide up to sixty-eight people in the storage area below the wooden planks covered with ice and fishing nets to keep the area below cool. On each side of the boat are 3-inch diameter holes through which air can flow.
12. A photograph that does not exist: The inside of a factory. Three women are standing in front of a large machine with knobs and many rolls of shiny, thin material. They are holding tiny electric capacitors out for a group of families to view. One woman expresses frustration as she holds her capacitors out to a small girl, who looks confused and disinterested.
13. A newspaper story: Raleigh, North Carolina, 1989. After 35 years in operation, the factory will shut down and lay off its staff of nearly 3,000 employees. The company cited competition from cheaper labor overseas and expenses from a lawsuit related to its pollution of a nearby water supply.
14. If (refugee) women (of color) counted.
15. A newspaper story: New York, 1984.
Cutting the payroll and reducing expenses is happening in technology with increasing ferocity. It's rampant throughout the industry.
16. ...capitalism is built on an immense amount of unpaid labor, that it is not built exclusively or primarily on contractual relations; that the wage relation hides the unpaid, slave-like nature of so much of the work upon which capital accumulation is premised.*
17. A photograph: A woman stands in front of a table in a small dining room with wood paneled walls. She is wearing a black waitressing apron with pockets. On the table in front of her is a neat pile of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. There is a small stack of one dollar and five dollar bills.
18. A fact:
Between two mothers, twelve babies over three oceans.
* text by Judith Butler; Silvia Federici
** Poem by early 19th century feminist poet, Hồ Xuân Hương, In a play on tones, xuất thế means to “abandon the world” but xuất thê means to “abandon a wife.”