Truong Tan at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center
In conjunction with No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia exhibition, exhibiting artist Truong Tan was featured at Asia Society Hong Kong Center in the closing weekend of the exhibition. Truong Tan's engagement with performance art goes back to the period of his painting What Do We Want?, featured in No Country. A response to cultural conditions of Hanoi during the early 1990s, the painting reflects upon a time when there was as much a sense of an opening of cultural discussion as there were normative hurdles to overcome. As with the artwork, Truong Tan's practice reveals a consciousness of the potential exchange with audience and viewers. His questions and ideas are posed in a direct form, which also characterize his performance style, in which he submits his own body as the site of a continuing dialogue on our understanding of our communities, and the choices made, as well as the ways in which we contribute to such an understanding.
Over the weekend, Truong Tan conducted two different performances with each exploring a different idea and conveying a different message to the audience.
Your Idea, I Dance for It is participatory dance that explores the role of an artist in encouraging people to connect, and reconsider relationships in the developing world where self-interests put us in vulnerable silos in which human values, and the arts, are not protected.
In What is the color of the Egg?, Truong Tan painted with egg whites and yolks from eggs engraved by the audience, challenged consumer behaviors in the materialistic world, and reminded us of the vicious consequences and disasters wasteful attitudes through his performance art.