in Frieze London , Videos | 16 SEP 22

Watch Now: Tuan Andrew Nguyen

b. 1976, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City

in Frieze London , Videos | 16 SEP 22
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Presenting with Galerie Quynh at Frieze London 2022 as part of Indra's Net curated by Sandhini Poddar

Working across video and sculpture, artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen is an excavator of stories and colonial histories, whose nuanced works offer up readings on accountability, humanity, transformation and possible transcendence.

Nguyen’s sculpture — made of narra padauk wood — of Guanyin / Quan Thê Âm (Vietnamese) / Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva (buddha-to-be) of infinite compassion, who aids all sentient beings, occupies centre stage. Nguyen states, “The wooden statue was found with the right hand broken and the left hand missing several fingers. The hands are cast from brass artillery shells, mostly of Russian origin — the north was backed by Russia and China during The Vietnam War (1955—1975). I find connections between the story of Ho Van Lai and Guanyin.”

Ho Van Lai, a resident of Quang Tri province in central Vietnam, lost three of his limbs in a cluster munitions explosion and now teaches ordnance safety at a local school.

About Indra's Net

Derived from ancient Buddhist and Hindu thought forms, Indra’s Net refers to an ethics of being, where an individual atom holds within it the structure of reality. Imagine a vast bejewelled net: at every nexus there is

a reflective orb that mirrors and refracts every other orb in its entirety. Each part is held within the whole in a system of dependent origination. All sentient life is interconnected; shifts to one atom subtly alter the rest.

Curated by Sandhini Poddar, this group presentation brings together leading international artists whose practices are informed by this prescient metaphor. In various media, we learn of ancestry, history, language, consciousness and futurity as being bound to the earth, which serves as a perennial witness through the arc of time. 

In the video above, Tuan Andrew Nguyen shares his response to the question, 'What does interconnectedness mean to you?'

Find Out More about Indra's Net

Main Image: Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Broken Into A Thousand Arms, 2022, brass cast and pounded from artillery shells, wood (narra padauk), steel, enamel paint, approx. 202 x 195 x 75 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Quynh