Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States
Focusing on a group of teenagers at Làng Hữu Nghị, the photos in ‘Long Time No See’ project an intimate choreography between the subjects and us, as an artist duo, with drawing interventions made by the subjects. This body of work is a layering of collaborative and documentary elements in an effort to communicate the complex legacy of the post-war, transnational relationship between Vietnam and the U.S.
This body of work was made to challenge the traditionally rigid power dynamics between subject and author. Over a two-year period, we established a workshop at Làng Hữu Nghị to engage in a visual exchange.
Làng Hữu Nghị is a residence in Hanoi, Vietnam for people affected by Agent Orange, one of the ‘Rainbow Herbicides’ used by the U.S. Air Force during the war under Operation Ranch Hand. The chemical weapon’s genetic effects continue to be passed down through the generations, so this residence is shared by Vietnamese veterans and their current and future descendants.
As an artist duo we are interested in how larger socio-economic and political structures are simultaneously visible and hidden within what is personal, psychological, and spiritual.
In addition to the photos, this body of work includes drawings contributed by the younger generation which are intended to sit side by side with the photographic component of the project. Furthermore, this work includes a series of video vignettes we co-directed with Vietnamese veterans. They are freely associated images that blur the lines between memory, reality, and wish fulfillment.
In an effort to adhere to Critical Mass’s submission guidelines, we are only submitting the photo-based component of the work, with some photographs containing ink drawings directly on the photographs.
All components of this work will be published by Jiazazhi Press this fall, with texts by Đỗ Tường Linh, Pham Ngoc Thuy, Quỳnh N. Phạm, and Forensic Architecture. The book is designed in collaboration with Brian Paul Lamotte.