Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mai

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Black landscape #6

2020

Video art with sound

8 minutes Edition: 5ED, 1AP

This work is a continuation of the project Day by Day (2014), based on the research of the Vietnamese migrant community in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. Going through many historical events such as wars, genocide and complicated relationships of two neighboring countries. They have become stateless immigrants. They don’t have necessary identification documents, poverty, lack of education, lack of law protection…

In 2016, I returned to Tonle Sap and came across many abandoned floating houses which are gradually sinking in the water. Many families have left the lake to come to Vietnam in recent years. The water becomes more and more polluted and dried out. The fish are gone. They left the water where many generations of family have been nurtured here. The place is also the keeper of memories, beliefs and a nomadic life floating through many generations

“Black landscapes” marks the location of the families who remained and left. The landscapes which are absent of human presence just like how the stories, memories and beliefs are slowly fading in the mighty Mekong.
(Text courtesy of the artist)