The work Embracement #1: This wrist, that wrist forms part of Linh San’s first solo exhibition no longer holding a cloud (2022), which marks her more than year-long journey working with the idea of ‘matter dispersal’, when for the first time, the artist experimented with clay, a material that requires a different handling of form-creation to her earlier practice with poetry and videos. Through contact of the hand with the weight, heat, strength, looseness and density of the material, in this journey, Linh San explored all the potential expressions of clay, simultaneously questioning both its physical limitations and the psychological limitations of her own body. For Linh San, clay becomes a place for memories to be incarnated and be liberated, a cradle for the years gone by. Done with meticulous and painstaking efforts, and in an almost ritualistic manner, the works in no longer holding a cloud give life to feelings which were once left untouched, and fragments of life which were once left behind.
“Before running a small restaurant with her younger brother, my mother was a farmer. When she used to work on the field, she would often wear her áo bay*. I too wore this exact piece of clothing when assisting her out there. I remember the collar hugging tightly around the neck, soaking up the sweat; the sleeves always covered in dirt. [With this work,] I have reconstructed the collar and sleeve in clay, with all the memories towards a particular time in life that mom and I lovingly shared together,” stated Linh San.
*Áo bay is a type of military uniform used by the Vietnam People’s Army. Amongst its many designs, the K82 áo bay model was produced for commercial consumption and was commonly used as a safety vest by labourers and farmers.
(Edited from text provided by Á Space)