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Title

Becoming Alluvium

2019

Artist

Thao Nguyen Phan

Vietnam

1987 –

Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
Alternate image of Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan
  • Details

    Date
    2019
    Media category
    Time-based art
    Materials used
    single channel digital video
    Edition
    5/5
    Dimensions
    duration: 00:16:28 min
    Credit
    Roger Pietri Fund 2022
    Location
    Lower Asian gallery
    Accession number
    209.2022
    Copyright
    © Thao Nguyen Phan

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Thao Nguyen Phan

    Works in the collection

    6

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  • About

    Becoming Alluvium combines film with delicate watercolour animation to tell stories about environmental damage caused by human action, as well as meditating on reincarnation and human connection. Inspired by the devastation resulting from a dam collapse in Laos in 2018, the film’s opening focus is a pair of siblings connected with the Mekong River in an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

    The many references in Becoming Alluvium include poetry by Rabindranath Tagore, Marguerite Duras’s autobiographical novel The Lover set in 1920s Vietnam, Italo Calvino’s 1972 text Invisible Cities, Khmer folktales and early photographs of Angkor and its French explorers, especially Louis Delaporte. Sculptures displayed at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh as well as those taken from Cambodia and Vietnam during the period of colonial rule appear in the animated section, often draped in the checked krama cloths so connected with the Khmer people. Depictions of decapitated figures refer simultaneously to the fate of the sculptures and to the human tragedy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Period (1975-79).

    The watercolours associated with Becoming Alluvium include a depiction of a headless person dressed in black with a black and white krama across their arms, palm trees, an elephant, a collection of gold Khmer jewellery as worn by deities, apsaras and dancers, and a representation of an overflowing dam.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Elemental, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jul 2022–2024

  • Provenance

    Thao Nguyen Phan, 2019-Aug 2022, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Aug 2022.

Other works by Thao Nguyen Phan

See all 6 works