One World | Lý Trang

In every land are ongoing dialogues” – as Anne Spirn said. And for me a way to get close to inherent but invisible things is to listen to them. My recent work has been questioning the effects of urban development and climate adaptation policies on relocated individuals. The first installation comprises sound sculptures, minimal kinetic assemblages, objects and posters. They are arranged to create multiple dialogues, happening between the stillness of the objects that lost their voice and the sound sculptures that rebuild the house-demolishing noises along the canals, between those resonating sounds and the sounds of water running through the craft appliances once echoed on the land, between their coercive give-up on the land that now only exist in their memory and the uncertain future.

My initial plan was for a more outward-looking work – I was planning to do more interaction with people and the land. I chose to give up on making a site-specific installation as it was my initial idea and spent more time focusing on researching and experiencing in all possible ways instead. The pandemic has made a lot of invisible things suddenly visible, the time being locked inside a 4 wall box really made me take a pause on my long rush walking, getting back a lost sense of purpose and becoming brutally honest to myself. The final work turned out to be different than the initial idea, but it still made me excited during the whole working time and happy to embrace the work when it was done at the end.

The pandemic also made me retreat inwards and seek comfort in small things. I grew plants with other residents, we cooked everyday and cooked from the plants we grew. We spent time talking and watching movies and talking again about our work progress. A supportive community during the lockdown was a valuable thing, a silver lining in the whole mess. We naturally provoked conversations about the current state in each country that they are from, about new ways of working. Perhaps it’s true that in the middle of a crisis, we reach for familiarity rather than innovation. We cooked a variety of food for each other, I spent time watching them working and doing a small everyday “performance” and really enjoyed the time sharing space with the other residents.

Lý Trang is a composer and sound artist based in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has been producing music and sound design for 3 years. Trang creates sounds by flutes, vocal, found objects, kinetic assemblages, and traditional instruments from different ethnic groups in Vietnam. She observes and reflects realities and culture-social issues through inventive sound exploration, opening a door to the illusion of moving images that she finds as a cultural substratum.