Land of Leisure
November 21, 2019
October 27, 2019
Lê Phi Long
“If hunting is a symbol of colonial domination or recurring subjugation, then doubtfulness or irony shall counteract that domination.”
– Excerpt from Nguyen Phan Long in “L’Echo Annamite”.
‘Land of Leisure’ – the first solo exhibition by Le Phi Long, one of the most promising visual artists of Vietnam.
This is part of Le Phi Long's research project on Indochina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Taking place at both of Manzi’s spaces, the exhibition features a site-specific installation and a series of paintings created from old archival photos and drawings of wildlife hunting activities in Da Lat during the colonial period.
The site-specific installation ‘DALAT’ (Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem) combines a recording of hoof beats and a single-channel video depicting sunbeams in the forest shifting on the floor of the art space. The sunbeams cast the shadow of a pine forest on the room’s gold-coated surfaces, transporting viewers back to Indochina during the early 20th Century, when the European ideology made its way to a new land in the East.
In contrast to the installation, the paintings and illustrations in Le Phi Long's series ‘Hunting as a metaphor for politics’(*) were created in black ink, without backgrounds, on white paper scattered with gold leaves. Through the actions of compounding, recreating, cutting, pasting and smearing these images, Le Phi Long is searching for a way to convert layers of meaning, and to create a reflection of the city of Da Lat.
(*)The title is taken from the book 'Imperial Heights' by Eric T. Jennings.
This is part of Manzi Art Programme supported by the Goethe Institut.