The quick spread of Covid-19 highlighted the world’s complex connectivity and the border closures and travel restrictions forced countries, estates and cities into isolation. This sui generis situation caught millions of travellers outside their home countries, with few or no options to return. A. Farm, an international art residence located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was also affected by both the global pandemic and national lockdown and one wonders how this unprecedented situation might have impacted the flow of the residency. Some artists left, others prolonged their stay, projects were halted or changed, and yet within this tumult, residents were able to take refuge in their studios, using this as an opportunity to reflect, investigate their practice but also create stronger bonds with one another ranging from late-night karaoke to blackjack sessions.
Season 3, running from January to June 2020 concluded with open-studios held on the 20th and 21st of June. The event happened during a relatively tranquil period in Vietnam’s pandemic trajectory, after about 2 months without local transmission and just before the second wave hit the country. The open studios featured Nghia Dang’s surgical deconstruction of fantasies and mindscapes with a series of drawings; an immersive installation on the performativity of time by Chu Hao Pei; and Ly Trang’s sonic reflections on urban development and narratives of displacement. Saverio Tonoli’s ongoing explorations of sublime tapestries made of ink and paper. Le Phi Long, artist-in-residence of the Réciprocité programme (Institut français) also joined A. Farm’s residents with an installation musing on religious faith that was developed during his stay at la Cité des Arts in Paris, also under the pandemic. MoT+++ collective artists Cian Duggan and Luke Schneider spent time with the residents during the lockdown and produced some works responding to the crises.
One World virtual exhibition brings the artists’ reflections on their experience of working under disruptive circumstances. How the pandemic affected their work, what were the tactics used to make like easier during the lockdown and how was the experience of having to share the time with a multinational, multicultural group of people?
The contrast between connection and isolation raises questions about the fragility of our networks and highlights our common identity as humans. Seven artists, five different nationalities, one world.
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A. Farm is an international art residence located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was established in 2018 and offers both funded and self-funded residencies and is open to artists of all nationalities. Season 3 was the last one held its original location, as the building has been put on the market. While we believe A. Farm is a multifaceted entity that can morph, transform and expand with any given space, the loss of the building that has hosted the residence since its foundation, could not have come at a worse time. A. Farm is managed by the MoT+++ team.
One World virtual exhibition was curated by MoT+++ team for the ANCER Conference 2020: Disruption as Opportunity.