FLUX: An exhibition of a changing city


FLUX: Art in changing spaces is a new collective founded in Hanoi by myself, Bui Vu and Rosemary Anstead. 

FLUX: An exhibition of a changing city is our first exhibition in Hanoi, bringing international and Vietnamese artists together to explore change in the city and what being in flux means to them.

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Exhibition text:

Bui Vu / Rosemary Anstead / Eleanor Shipman / 
Bex Hughes / Phùng Linh / Nguyen Nam Dong
Curated by Eleanor Shipman

Hanoi is in a state of flux. Rapid regeneration conflicts with tradition and history. The desire for the new and shiny paves over the old and crumbling. FLUX: An exhibition of a changing city brings Vietnamese and international artists together to share their responses to what change in Hanoi means to them through installation, photography, poetry and painting. 

A reading area welcomes visitors to peruse a selection of zines curated and donated by Bex Hughes of the Hanoi Zine Library. The artist-made and self-published books offer thematic connections to being in flux through contrasting different lenses. A bamboo ladder, a constant visual well-known to even a weekend visitor to the city, flutters with hand-written haikus exploring change collected from Hanoi residents by Rosemary Anstead. 

Phùng Linh’s stunning photographs ‘Walking in the Light’ capture the winding light trails left by the constant hubbub of traffic weaving through Hanoi’s streets at night. Whereas Bui Vu’s ‘Cycle’, a canvas of rusting debris of the city, points to the Sisyphean loop of change and development. 

Nguyen Nam Dong’s ‘Colours of Hanoi’ offer an abstract perspective of the city and a rejection of the challenges he faced growing up in poverty in post-war Hanoi, with bright intersecting shapes and grids suggestive of buildings splicing the canvases into chaotic yet joyful stories of change. Eleanor Shipman’s installation ‘Ecdysis Dress’ and subsequent photo series invite the viewer to witness the shedding of an old skin, and the process of personal transformation running concurrently to the city’s own tearing down and rebuilding.

The exhibition also features three public workshops. Bex Hughes of Hanoi Zine Library will host a zine-making workshop (zines are handmade publications); artist Eleanor Shipman will host an embroidery workshop to embroider the city’s buildings and artist and host of the Hanoi Life Drawing Society Bui Vu will facilitate a clothed life drawing session using artworks from the exhibition as dynamic props for the models. Workshops are 100K VND - contact FLUX to book:

Hanoi Zine Library: Make a Zine    14:00 - 16:00 23.03.19

Embroidery Workshop: Sew the City        11:00 - 13:00 24.03.19

HLDS: Clothed Life Drawing Workshop    15:00 - 17:00 24.03.19

This exhibition is the first of a new series by the collective FLUX: Art in changing spaces, founded by artist and curator Eleanor Shipman, artist Bui Vu and writer Rosemary Anstead. The group met through various creative events in the city, and shared their perspectives and fascination for Hanoi as both locals and foreigners. They decided to start a series of exhibitions to explore these themes in under-utilised spaces across Hanoi, beginning in the unused gallery space above Nifty Thrifty Vintage Store in Tay Ho, which they came across during a chance encounter. FLUX asks: what does the changing city mean to you?


About my works:

Ecdysis Dress and Ecdysis Portraits (ecdysis is the process of shedding the old skin in reptiles) explore the artist’s move to Vietnam, reflecting on a year of drastic change and the shedding of an old skin in the rapidly regenerating city. The dress, made from the typical striped tarpaulin used on building sites in Vietnam, is modelled on the artist’s own recent wedding dress. Ecdysis Dance playfully brings the dress to life through a flipbook. In stop motion, the artist’s new husband throws, catches and spins with the dress - a first dance, and a new adventure. 

State of Being [helmet with wing mirrors] is the physical manifestation of a heightened psychological response to the new environment of the city. This piece is an ode to the chaos and hyper-stimuli of Hanoi: the city of 5 million motorbikes to a 7 million population.

Read more about each artist on the exhibition statement here.