Opening: Tue 24 Apr, 6 pm
From Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam:
The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam proudly presents a film and photography installation “Jo Ha Kyū” by Nguyen Trinh Thi & Jamie Maxtone-Graham in Hanoi from April to May 2012.
Jo Ha Kyū is an essential concept of the narrative structure in all traditional Japanese temporal arts. Likened by Noh creator, Zeami, to a small stream expanding into a river which eventually becomes a waterfall that crashes into a still pond, Jo Ha Kyū encapsulates the idea, in simplest terms, of a beginning, middle and end.
Tokyo, one of the biggest cities in the world, has been inspiring a plethora of foreign artists to create new artworks based on their experiences in this unique megalopolis. One such example is the critically acclaimed feature film “Lost in Translation” (2003) directed by Sofia Coppola.
Highly sophisticated foreign eyes more often than not shed beautiful light on ordinary life in Japan from different angles and cause us to become aware of hidden attractiveness of our daily life.
The case of Nguyen Trinh Thi, one of the promising independent film makers in Vietnam, and Jamie Maxtone-Graham, her husband and a prominent photographer, is not the exception. They spent some months in Tokyo and their drifting around the big city fruited one short film and 60 pieces of photography.
Mr. Yoshioka, Deputy Director of the Japan Foundation comments: “By Seeing abstract moving images of Tokyo directed by Trinh Thi and LED lighted-up photography of common people and ordinary scenes in Tokyo framed by Jamie, even I, who have been living in Tokyo for over 25 years, could refresh my eyes on the familiar city and experienced the new world of Tokyo re-built by the two artists. It is a quite new experience”.
We do hope that the audience will enjoy not only the artistic value of the film and photography but also the new dimension of Tokyo through the beautifully installed artworks even without visiting Tokyo, one of the most expensive cities for living.
Free of admission.
For inquiries on the exhibition and the interview with the artists, please contact at:
Nguyen Trinh Thi is a Hanoi-based independent documentary filmmaker and video artist. She studied journalism and photography at the University of Iowa and International Studies and ethnographic film at University of California, San Diego. Her documentary and experimental films have been screened at festivals and art exhibitions across Asia, Europe, and the USA – including Oberhausen International Film Festival; Bangkok Experimental Film Festival; Artist Films International; Summer Exhibition 2011, DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; Unsubtitled, solo video installation, NhaSan Studio, Hanoi; ‘PLUS/ Memories and Beyond – 10 Solo Exhibitions by 10 Asian Artists’, Kuandu Biennale, Taipei; and ‘No Soul For Sale 2’, Tate Modern, London. Nguyen Trinh Thi founded Hanoi DocLab, a center for documentary filmmaking and video art in Hanoi, in 2009.
Artist’s note: In this experimental film, the concept is loosely interpreted against the subjective experience of the filmmaker being in the contemporary space and time of Tokyo. I made this work because — like with other works, I like to experiment — with moving images, to see how one can tell stories or express oneself in different ways. In this work, the particular space is Tokyo, and the particular time is the summer of 2011. The city gave me certain impressions and feelings, but there were also other emotions and events that were happening in the background of my personal experience that had little to do with Tokyo. I wanted to put all of these into the work — to make it like a time capsule, a recorded memory. In a way, the piece is about the conflict and co-existence of the concrete and abstract worlds, between objective observances and subjective experience, narrative and non-narrative, documentary and fiction.
Jamie Maxtone-Graham has a professional background of more than 20 years in commercial and narrative cinematography. As a guild Director of Photography in New York and Los Angeles, his works range from independent to mainstream feature films, episodic television and advertising. In 2007 he became a Fulbright Fellow, receiving a grant funding his proposal to photograph contemporary youth culture in present day Vietnam. He currently lives in Hanoi and continues to shoot commercials and narrative films, produce documentaries and personal photography projects. His photography was previously published on burn Magazine, Trans Asia Photography Review, Culture Hall and tiny vices and exhibited in Hanoi, London and Bangkok.
Artist’s note: When one is in a new place for the first time, one’s senses become somewhat more attuned to this unfamiliar environment – what one hears and, particularly in my own case, what one sees is fresh. I was interested in the way this opportunity might affect my working process – the way in which what I was seeing might influence how I would see.
During the six weeks I spent in Tokyo shortly after the earthquake in March 2011, there was an interesting atmosphere – literally. Was there radiation in the air from the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant in the north? Certainly. Could it be ignored and daily life proceed. Apparently. I went about the city with my wife and my daughter and made these images in a way both conscious and ignorant of this and so many other things.
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