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In Photo Dialogue with Visual Artist Ngô Đình Bảo Châu

Editorials – August 2020

Living between Huế and Hồ Chí Minh City, visual artist Ngô Đình Bảo Châu invited us to stop by Galerie Quynh during her week of install.

Over the course of the week, we had the opportunity to visit the gallery several times, paying witness to the evolution of the multitiered space — it became apparent Bảo Châu has an intuitive way of intersecting people and places, echoing the overarching theme in her solo exhibition: “Towards Realist Socialization / trông thật khác, nhìn thực giống [which] investigates how the public sphere bleeds into the private” (Galerie Quynh, 2020).

In the site-specific work Everything falls down, the flames go up - Twin Kitchen, Bảo Châu works with Sao La to reimagine the utilitarian Frankfurt Kitchen in cardboard; friends come together in the public gallery space to assemble this work through the bonding acts of taping and gluing.

Towards Realist Socialization / trông thật khác, nhìn thực giống is curated by Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần.

"I saw some sketches of the figures in a state of confined to inherent thoughts. Shortly thereafter, Bảo Châu released a painting series of bouquets adorned on the podium - a reluctant witness to the rhetoric of politics. It was that moment when I realized I wanted to accompany this artist on the path of exploring this theme” (Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần, 2020).

Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần and Ngô Đình Bảo Châu

'Epaulette – Bench' concrete, vegetable-tanned leather cushions, wood 51 x 190 x 85 cm

Taking a cue from some of the themes Bảo Châu speaks to, we wanted to learn more about her private sphere in the months leading up to the culmination of these works.

For us, this is our first iteration of a new photo series, In Photo Dialogue: It is a series where, in turn we invite friends to converse with us through images — ours, formally documented and theirs, informal snapshots.

This photo series mimics how you'd walk through the space; moving from the ground floor up, visiting each ‘private' room — interspersed with Bảo Châu’s personal images.

'Uniform - Wallpaper' woodblock print, monoprint, stamping, stencil, acrylic, glitter, gold leaf on cardboard 60 x 80 cm

Video by Luật Serpe

'Lost portrait - Altar' acid-etched steel, lacquered hand-carved wood

‘Closed eyes – Light’

“The resin artwork brings to mind ‘đèn ông sao’ – star-shaped lanterns made from glassine covering a bamboo frame – flooding streets and parks during the Mid-Autumn Festival” (Galerie Quynh, 2020).

a site-specific work

'Everything falls down, the flames go up - Twin Kitchen'

Luật Serpe and Đạt Nguyên

Ngô Đình Bảo Châu and Luật Serpe at Cù Rú, Đà Lạt

Ngô Đình Bảo Châu and Đạt Nguyên at Nest Studio in Huế

'Die-in - Pillows' foam mattress, velvet, embroidered ribbon

“To visit the artworks in each of its rooms is as important as journeying through space and exploring what Bachelard calls ‘the hallways of the mind’ – the recesses of our psyche that Ngo Dinh Bao Chau has laid out for all to inhabit” (Galerie Quynh, 2020).

Galerie Quynh on Ngô Đình Bảo Châu

From early on in her career, Ngo Dinh Bao Chau has worked with a wide range of materials, from sedge mats, steel, and concrete, to truc chi – paper made from the purées of bamboo, corn and duckweed. Her practice examines contemporary life in Vietnam; she repurposes objects and images in order to challenge the dualisms and tensions that exist in society. In her most recent work, Ngo Dinh Bao Chau appropriates the symbols which are part of a collective, cultural memory, and places them in an imagined homespace. Through her multimedia installations, the artist comments on the power of repetition, and explores the indistinction between public and private space.



Ngô Đình Bảo Châu

Special Thanks

Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần
Đạt Nguyên
Luật Serpe
Galerie Quynh

Text & Production

Karen Thảo La


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