Cam Xanh – collector, trader and maker of art – is a trilogy in herself. With this solo, brashly entitled Masturbation Trilogies, the artist embraces the hat-trick with a series of old and new works, each presented in a set of three.

Three acrylic planets contain the leftover plain porridge (chao) she co-cooked with local fellow artists during her Art/Chao performance in 2016. Three handmade knock-off Birkin bags feature images of Western art in a shameless celebration of kitsche. Three tinted acrylic urinals hang on a pink wall like a whimsical set of decorations, alluding to both Duchamp and Gober. Three canvases bear silk cocoons engraved with Vietnamese golden values ” freedom – independence – happiness”.  What does it mean to reveal in self-pleasure, which the artist admits to be a public act of masturbation in a private gallery? Is this what the climax looks like – an explosion of uninhibited desire and concealed self-deprecation? What aren’t we seeing? Is narcissistic pleasure the ultimate reward of art, or is it mixed with an undertone of pain?

The video installation “chain – chance – change”, an opening/end scene of a 3months (24/7) duration performance, is definitely an interesting knot to be un-tight. And last but not least, a triptych prints of the word “interesting” itself, lightened up from its own blacked-out version is an open-end of the solo..

By Quyen Nguyen