Saturday, July 26, 2008
From my trip yesterday to the Coconut Monk's faded fantasy island in the Mekong Delta
I'm in an internet cafe with sky-high ceilings and encaustic-tiled floors. The air's as languid as this DSL connection. Saigon has been a swirl of traffic and pho and salon-style paintings presented with gracious reserve. Also encounters with a few forthcoming gallerists who have progressive attitudes about how to promote their artists.
Tomorrow I'll head down to the Delta, and will be "off the map" for a few days. Next week I'll be back in Saigon to follow-up on art-y contacts and pick up my better half for our journey to central Vietnam.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Hong Ha, wearing her ao dai at the Taj Mahal. Check out her informative, adventurous blog!
Tomorrow I leave for an extended working holiday in Vietnam. The goal? To take the pulse of contemporary Vietnamese art, and document who's doing what, where, how & why. This trip is sponsored by ThingsAsian Press. What will we make from it? Perhaps a guide to contemporary Vietnamese art; on- or offline exhibitions; articles or photo-essays - some or all of the above.
Blogging may be sporadic during this trip. I'm trying to figure out how to best integrate communication with my Facebook friends; my Alivenotdead, LinkedIn, Artreview and Behance accounts; and of course this blog! As a friend wrote today: "welcome to the world of web 2.0"
Friday, July 11, 2008
is a powerful series of photos by Thomas Holton that documents a first-generation Chinese family in New York City. It's a glimpse into the tiny tenement apartments that have housed NY's immigrants for decades. I used to live just over the Williamsburg bridge and would wander over it into the Lam's neighborhood, peeking into shop windows, wondering at what flickered behind rusty iron gates, and buying fish balls to cook for a bemused boyfriend back home.
These ageing buildings in Chinatown are more fragile than their tenacious inhabitants: the Lams are currently living in a temporary Red Cross-sponsored space after an electrical fire in their building, according to a letter from Holton. He is selling a number of prints from the series to benefit the family, at US$175 each. One source mentions that the offer is only good until July 4th, but perhaps you might persuade the photographer to extend his generosity a bit longer ;)