New Women
Oct
29
3:00 PM15:00

New Women

New Women tells the story of three women working for a contemporary magazine called New Women and was originally written in 1944 by seminal Vietnamese playwright Vũ Đình Long. Although the play was seen as modernizing because of its French-influenced "théâtre-parlé" style, the roles fold back into a patriarchal, Confucian gender structure: the main female character is preyed upon by the male publisher of the magazine and one woman is pitted against another. Ngô uses the 20th century story to re-examine how patriarchy and capitalism operate in concert, yet invisibly, to exploit female-identifying bodies. In her dramatic reading, Hương Ngô adapted the play by omitting all of the male voices. This process leaves behind blank spaces and long pauses, opening the text to a contemporary reinterpretation. The reading will take place within a sculptural set designed by Ngô, using geometric costumes that she created.

Performers: Darling Shear, Karissa Murrell Myers, Marcela Torres, Brittany Harlin

Image Caption: Performance at Para Site, Hong Kong. Directors: David Borgonjon and Hera Chan. La Chiquitta as Tố Lan, Claudia Jim as Minh Nguyệt, Jes Fan as Song Quang, Hera Chan as Stagehand. Documentation by Kwon Lok Man.

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New Women
Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

New Women

New Women tells the story of three women working for a contemporary magazine called New Women and was originally written in 1944 by seminal Vietnamese playwright Vũ Đình Long. Although the play was seen as modernizing because of its French-influenced "théâtre-parlé" style, the roles fold back into a patriarchal, Confucian gender structure: the main female character is preyed upon by the male publisher of the magazine and one woman is pitted against another. Ngô uses the 20th century story to re-examine how patriarchy and capitalism operate in concert, yet invisibly, to exploit female-identifying bodies. In her dramatic reading, Hương Ngô adapted the play by omitting all of the male voices. This process leaves behind blank spaces and long pauses, opening the text to a contemporary reinterpretation. The reading will take place within a sculptural set designed by Ngô, using geometric costumes that she created.

Performers: Darling Shear, Karissa Murrell Myers, Marcela Torres, Brittany Harlin

Image Caption: Performance at Para Site, Hong Kong. Directors: David Borgonjon and Hera Chan. La Chiquitta as Tố Lan, Claudia Jim as Minh Nguyệt, Jes Fan as Song Quang, Hera Chan as Stagehand. Documentation by Kwon Lok Man.

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And the state of emergency is also always a state of emergence.
Oct
6
to Oct 26

And the state of emergency is also always a state of emergence.

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Opening Reception: Friday, October 6, 2017, 6-9 pm

And the state of emergency is also always a state of emergence. – Homi Bhabha, Black Skin, White Masks, Foreword to 1986 edition.

Life in a refugee camp consists of a home that is half of a four by six foot cubicle. – Donald Larson, director of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, "The Hong Kong Refugee Crisis: Suggestions for U.S. Policy Makers,” 1989.

In this exhibition of new work, Hương Ngô draws from the stories of her family’s year-long stay in Hong Kong refugee camps through the eyes of her siblings, who were children at the time. This shift in perspective reorients the field of possibilities and experience of the camp, complicating clear victim or hero narratives that dominate the retelling of a refugee experience and animating Homi Bhabha’s assertion, “And the state of emergency is also always a state of emergence.” Using as a formalist departure point the measurement, “a home that is half of a four by six foot cubicle,” which served as a critique of the treatment of Vietnamese refugees who were given the minimal amount of space in the camps, Ngô combines architectural sculpture with traces of her siblings’ experiences, which are at times poignant, humorous, and profound, but always expressing a full range of agency often denied to children and refugees alike.

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新女性 New Women: A Reading
Sep
11
10:30 PM22:30

新女性 New Women: A Reading

“Gossip is a fearful thing,” wrote Ruan Lingyu in her suicide note. A star of Shanghai’s leftist cinema in the 1930s, her fate was eerily prophesied by her last movie, “New Women.” Nine years later in 1944, seminal Vietnamese playwright Vũ Đình Long published Đàn bà mới or New Women, the story of a writer who is preyed upon by the male publisher of a women’s magazine. This cautionary tale links the pursuit of a career and modernist ideals of independence and self-determination to her downfall and disgrace.

These early 20th century stories give us an opportunity to reexamine today how the creative and intellectual labor of women interacts with patriarchy and capitalism. In this dramatic reading, Hương Ngô has adapted the play by omitting all of the male voices. This process leaves behind blank spaces and long pauses, opening the text to a contemporary reinterpretation. The reading will take place within a sculptural set fabricated by Ngô, using geometric costumes that Ngô designed.

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You Open Your Mouth Half Way
Sep
1
to Sep 30

You Open Your Mouth Half Way

"Not a single word allowed to utter until the last station, they ask to check the baggage. You open your mouth half way. Near tears, nearly saying, I know you I know you, I have waited to see you for long this long. They check each article, question you on foreign articles, then dismiss you." —Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee

Hương Ngô makes her Milwaukee debut with the exhibition, "You open your mouth half way,” which draws from two ongoing bodies of work that examine diasporic identities, language, and matrilineal histories. The works, inflected by Ngô's archival research in France and Vietnam and her own biography, ask, “How do we remember that which is invisible or beyond language? Who benefits from our histories and the impossible, static versions of our identities?"

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White Light / Black Noise
Aug
27
to Sep 23

White Light / Black Noise

Opening reception: Sunday, August 27 from 2-5PM
EXPO Art After Hours: Friday, September 15 from 6-9PM

Taking on the notion of the backyard as territory of negotiating difference, Huong Ngo will create a site-specific sound installation for her solo exhibition at The Franklin that examines and archives the often invisible and unspoken aspects of growing up bilingually. For the project, Ngo interviewed nine participants, who grew up in bilingual or multilingual house- holds, delving into how language is bound up in their sense of identity, belonging, perceptions of the world, and places in geopolitical histories. Ngo guides the participants through workshops using bird calls as scores for performative uses of their languages.

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Beyond Snowden: Surveillance and the Construction of Difference
Jul
8
6:00 PM18:00

Beyond Snowden: Surveillance and the Construction of Difference

Edward Snowden's leak of NSA documents, revealing the widespread surveillance of US citizens, awakened a general public's awareness of the overreach of the government into private conversations and information. What was perhaps not as evident was how surveillance has been enacted on particular marginalized populations by the US government since the very beginnings of its institutions. The criminalization of immigrants and the subsequent rationalization for their surveillance by way of heightened scrutiny around their documentation or the call of vigilant citizenry, is but one example of how certain populations experience surveillance differently. How else might we begin to see more clearly the often layered connections between surveillance and the construction of difference and critically engage as concerned citizens when marginalized communities are affected? Join former LATITUDE resident Huong Ng in conversation on July 8 with Tia-Simone Gardner, Lars McKenzie, and Simon Spartalian, co-moderated by James Pepper Kelly, to examine aspects of intersectionality in relation to information systems, surveillance, image making, and digital identities.

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Deftly and Defiantly Decolonial
Jul
1
12:00 PM12:00

Deftly and Defiantly Decolonial

To Name It Is To See It was reviewed by New City's B. David Harley.

Important, heart-rending, and elucidating, Huong Ngô’s “To Name It Is To See It” feels like nothing less than conceptual magic.The artist’s largest museum presentation to date, it is a show which paradoxically manages to be both freighted with import—themes as heavy as dying stars—and suffused with information but minimal in its presentation. It is approachable and democratic in its design and delivery, a light expression of unbearable being, a funeral shroud or flag. A materially rich distillation of Ngô’s research into the life of 1930s Vietnamese anti-colonial activist Nguyen Thi Minh Khai—done in France and Vietnam—the show both presents the challenges faced by Minh Khai, whipsawed by the colonial government and by the sexism of her rebellious peers, as well as echoes, via themes of spying and surveillance, colonialism and feminism, issues which continue to suffuse the global atmosphere today.

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In Search of Miss Ruthless
Jun
30
to Sep 8

In Search of Miss Ruthless

Dear Miss Ruthless,

We have been chasing the stories of diasporic pageant queens. There is something ruthless about their stories, something that recalls the sentimentality of Chinese culture. Allow us to paraphrase Rey Chow in writing that sentimentality is an attachment premised on adaptation and resilience. Romance that endures. We are building a community to welcome you. And really, a community is just a group of people who are capable of holding a pageant. The stage has been set. 

Yours truly,
Hera Chan and David Xu Borgonjon, Curators

Press Release

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This is what intersectional feminist art looks like
Jun
21
2:55 PM14:55

This is what intersectional feminist art looks like

Review for To Name It Is To See It and Vessels of Geneology in the Chicago Tribune by Lori Waxman.

The Vietnamese language does not have a word for feminism.

But the country did and does have feminists, including Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, a revolutionary leader of the Indochinese Communist Party in the 1930s. Her elusive figure lurks everywhere and nowhere in "To Name It is to See It," a solo exhibition by Huong Ngo upstairs at the DePaul Art Museum.

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Dr. Nora A. Taylor, "Performance Art Under Attack in Southeast Asia"
Jun
15
5:30 PM17:30

Dr. Nora A. Taylor, "Performance Art Under Attack in Southeast Asia"

In conjunction with "To Name It Is To See It," Art Historian Nora Taylor will give a lecture on censorship and art in South East Asia.

Over the past two decades, along with the rise of performance art in Southeast Asia, artists in Myanmar, Vietnam and Singapore have been the subject of censorship by their governments, with police raids on performance events and arrests for performing in public. This talk will discuss examples where artists have been attacked for exercising their rights as creative individuals and explain some of the controversies surrounding this art form under authoritative regimes.

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Otherwise You Don't See Me
Jun
1
to Jul 2

Otherwise You Don't See Me

We began research for this exhibition by seeking evidence of bureaucratic violence and presently shifting power structures. What we found was an imprint of unguarded vulnerability revealed by our contemporary political currents. The artists and writers whose works are featured in this exhibition consider the positioning of an identity within a larger narrative. Whether their own, their kin, country, or simply imagined, from a western-centric viewpoint, these identities are largely read as ‘other.’

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Panel Discussion: Intersectional Identity and Creative Political Action
May
24
5:30 PM17:30

Panel Discussion: Intersectional Identity and Creative Political Action

DePaul Art Museum exhibitions A Matter of Conscience and Hương Ngô: To Name It is to See It explore artistic practices that are both personal and political, making visible the artist’s role as activist. DePaul Art Museum Assistant Curator Mia Lopez will moderate a discussion with artists and cultural producers Hương Ngô, Aram Han Sifuentes, Laura Kina, and Tempestt Hazel.

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New City Chicago: Break Out Artists 2017
May
1
12:00 PM12:00

New City Chicago: Break Out Artists 2017

I have been selected as one of Chicago's Break Out Artists of 2017. This annual list has always included artists that I admire, so this is a great honor.

Welcome to Newcity Art’s annual shortlist of artists you need to know right now. This is not a listicle of the top thirty-under-thirty, nor is it an exhaustive encyclopedia of every maker toiling away in the myriad studios and slashie live-work spaces in this fair and fecund city, blessed be their tired and yearning souls. Before you are eight artists whose work deserves your immediate and undivided attention—at least until that next Trump tweet throws everything off kilter again. And even then, you’ll need some beautiful and acerbic art to get you through the rest of the day, so listen up please.

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To Name It Is To See It
Apr
27
to Aug 6

To Name It Is To See It

In this new body of work that includes photographs, textiles, prints, neon, video, sound, and objects, Hương Ngô engages with the French government’s surveillance archives of Vietnamese anticolonial organizer Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai (1910-1941). The role of performance in the construction of identity is at the forefront of Ngô’s investigation of this historical figure. Minh Khai’s constant crossing of borders – those of nation-states, ethnicities, languages, genders, and classes – via her numerous pseudonyms and disguises, was key to her invisibility to authorities yet renders her difficult to classify even today.

Press Release

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ALL RISE at MCA Chicago
Apr
25
6:00 PM18:00

ALL RISE at MCA Chicago

All Rise is a community-based event that addresses issues of institutional racism in our communities and ultimately aims to create a space for speech, performance, and critical dialogue. All Rise combines strategies from two ongoing collaborative projects: Hương Ngô and Hồng-Ân Trương's And And And Stammering: An Interview and Jina Valentine and Heather Hart’s The Black Lunch Table.

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All Rise
Mar
9
to Mar 30

All Rise

ALL RISE is a community-based performance project that explores themes of race & immigration.
ALL RISE will take place throughout the month of March. Events include:

>> The Black Lunch Table roundtables where community discussions take place over lunch or dinner.

>> AND AND AND Stammering: An Interview performances where audience members get to rehearse what it might be like to go through a process of obtaining citizenship to the U.S. One-hour performances are followed by roundtable discussions which also include lunch or dinner.

>> Wikipedia edit-a-thons where we will create new entries around the important topics that we discuss during our conversations.
 

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Syntax Season's Didactic
Feb
19
2:00 PM14:00

Syntax Season's Didactic

DIDACTIC is a broadsheet zine series, created and published by PRINTtEXT, that provides visual and textual supplement to art projects and events.

It is part of SYNTAX SEASON, a series of solo exhibitions organized by A\M that brings together eight artists whose practices engage in various kinds of language games. Working with words, text, text-like images and image-like texts, these artists consider how we engage with language and, more specifically, how we construct meaning.

Syntax Season is organized by Michael Milano and Elisabeth Smith

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Hidden Assembly at Newspace Center for Photography
Nov
4
to Jan 7

Hidden Assembly at Newspace Center for Photography

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Hidden Assembly, curated by Yaelle Amir, will travel to Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR.

In today’s economy, most production is rendered invisible. The labor that people perform is obscured or eliminated–an effect heightened by the expanded tech field, global outsourcing, and the rise of precarious work. The group exhibition Hidden Assembly addresses our reconfigured labor market by featuring projects that examine what it means to work in current times, and creative campaigns geared towards exposing exploitative conditions that precarious laborers face today from cultural workers to caretakers to independent contractors.

Participating artists/projects:
Art Handlers Alliance of New York (AHA-NY) | João Enxuto & Erica Love | Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen | Gulf Labor Coalition | Marisa Morán Jahn/Studio REV- | Mary Lum | Michael Mandiberg | Betty Marin | Huong Ngo & Hong-An Truong | Laurel Ptak | Patricia Vasquez | Andrew Norman Wilson.

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VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow.
Oct
29
to Jan 30

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow.

Invited to present work with Artists Orla Ryan, Alanna O’Kelly, Brian Hand Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall. Artists Talk & Tour of the Exhibition on Sat 12th November, 4.30pm.

Originally commissioned as part of the An Post GPO Witness History public art commissions for 2016 and then exhibited in The Vietnamese Women's Museum in Hanoi, Stormy Petrel/ Guairdeall in VISUAL will take the form of a sculptural sound installation, publication, film and guest appearance of the work of Vietnamese American artist Huong Ngo in the Gallery Entrance.

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A Rule By Nobody
Sep
9
to Nov 20

A Rule By Nobody

A Rule By Nobody is an exploration of the boredoms, frustrations and pleasures of bureaucratic routines. Drawing its title from Hannah Arendt’s definition of bureaucracy, the exhibition takes the bored energy of office labor and channels it into a multipart dive into the sublimely overflowing inbox, the inky warm Xerox room, the balled up wads of red tape, and the moments of escape that punctuate the droning beige sameness of nine to five.

Publication includes contributions from Brandon Alvendia, Blair Bogin, Rashayla Marie Brown, Alex Chitty, Bethany Collins, Nick Ferreira, Jesse Malmed, Huong Ngo, Josh Rios, Anthony Romero, Neal Vandenbergh, J. Gibran Villalobos, and Philip von Zweck.

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Hidden Assembly at SPACES
Aug
26
to Oct 21

Hidden Assembly at SPACES

Curator: Yaelle S. Amir

The starting point of the group exhibition Hidden Assembly is the recognition that under capitalism most production is rendered invisible. The labor that people perform is largely obscured or eliminated-an effect heightened by the expanded tech field, global outsourcing, and the rise of precarious work. Hidden Assembly addresses our reconfigured labor market by featuring projects that examine what it means to work in current times.

Included projects communicate the uniquely precarious conditions resulting from capitalist values and governmental strategies; unrecognized producers in the new digital economy; and creative activism that advocates for improved and regulated worker conditions in an age of global and unorganized labor.

Artists/Projects:
Art Handlers Alliance (AHA-NY) | Joao Enxuto & Erica Love | Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen | Gulf Labor Artist Coalition | Betty Marin | Huong Ngo & Hong-An Truong | Laurel Ptak | Studio REV-(lead artist: Marisa Jahn) | Andrew Norman Wilson

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The Making of a Fugitive at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Jul
16
to Dec 4

The Making of a Fugitive at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

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In September 1970, Life magazine’s cover featured a photograph of recently arrested scholar and activist Angela Davis superimposed with the words “The Making of a Fugitive.” The exhibition, which takes its name from the iconic publication, presents works that not only reflect on the fugitive figure in American popular culture, but also interrogate how narratives constructed by the media influence our understandings of lawlessness and otherness and directly inform our views on innocence, safety, and normalcy. The artists have combined text and images, self-fashioned themselves as “wanted” bodies, and questioned our ability to accurately interpret visual evidence shaped by multiple social pressures and conditions.

The Making of a Fugitive showcases mixed media, prints, photographs, and sculptures made by artists working from the 1970s to the present and highlights conceptual artworks in the MCA’s collection. Featured artists include Dennis Adams, Chris Burden, David Hammons, R. B. Kitaj, Barbara Kruger, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, Huong Ngo, Carrie Schneider, and Xaviera Simmons. Whether the works conjure memories of iconic fugitives, such as Patty Hearst and Angela Davis, or incorporate loaded words, like safety and fear, viewers are prompted to question their assumptions about criminality and contemplate how the circulation of images influences their ideas.

The exhibition is organized by Faye Gleisser, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

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Speaking in the Dark at Nhà Sàn Collective
Jul
9
to Jul 24

Speaking in the Dark at Nhà Sàn Collective

This exhibition brings together new bodies of work by two artists, Hồng-Ân Trương and Hương Ngô. Drawing from their experiences as part of the Vietnamese diaspora, both artists use their family histories to explore questions of belonging, language, and memory. Through video, photography, and installation, Hồng-Ân Trương and Hương Ngô consider the ways in which identity is affected by shifting notions of time.

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