Bàng Nhất Linh

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The Vacant Chair

2013-2015

Dimensions variable

The Vacant Chair is a multi-layered video installation. It is an intimate narrative, where social issues derived from the modern history of a turbulent Vietnam are unveiled: the wounds, tolerance, optimism, as well as the special relationship amongst those who remain. From a broader angle, it suggests a universal sense of existence and death, particularly the limited nature of the human race… On the other hand, through the act of transforming a powerful symbol of war into a symbol of love and loss, the work steps out of its geographical context to tell a universal story of all humanity. The Vacant Chair, therefore, is a song of humanity, and for humanity…

The Vacant Chair is a popular song during the American Civil War written by George F. Root in 1861 based on a poem by Henry S. Washburn. The song signifies the loss and emptiness of those who lost their loved ones in the Civil War, it specially gained empathy from both the North and the South of the United States during the war. (Text courtesy of the artist)

The Vacant Chair has been exhibited in Vietnam, Sweden and Japan:

Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now”- Mori Art Musuem, Tokyo, Japan (2017)
The largest exbibition of Southeast Asian contemporary art held in Japan, for occasion of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. Hosted by the National Art Center, Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, and the Japan Foundation Asia Center.

Mien Meo Mieng / Contemporary Art from Vietnam” – Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweeden (2015)
One of the most comprehensive presentations to date of Vietnamese art in Sweden.

The vacant chair” – MoT+++, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2015)
A solo exhibition of artist Bang Nhat Linh

The vacant chair” – Nha San Collective, Hanoi, Vietnam (2015)
A solo exhibition of artist Bang Nhat Linh