Moi Tran: I Love A Broad Margin to My Life

15 May - 27 June 2021

As a person of the Vietnamese diaspora and a Southeast Asian female artist, the work is representative of the artist’s diverse methodology to centre the embodied knowledge of marginalised spaces. Her exhibition highlights the power of co-learning through art and social practice and possibilities in a pluriversal future.

Yeo Workshop is pleased to present ‘I Love a Broad Margin to My Life’, its first solo exhibition of the works by Vietnamese diaspora artist Moi Tran. The exhibition - titled after Maxine Hong Kingston’s 2011 novel - features mixed-media objects and documentation of live performance art, drawing on Moi Tran’s lived experience as a Vietnamese refugee, alongside her continued engagement with diaspora visibility and nurturing critical knowledge sharing. The mise en scene is framed by red velvet curtains and invites the anticipation of a shared theatrical contact zone between artist and viewer. Video and  interactive objects suspend, as though characters and props, ready to perform. As a person of the Vietnamese diaspora and a Southeast Asian female artist, the work is representative of the artist’s diverse methodology to centre the embodied knowledge of marginalised spaces. Her exhibition highlights the power of co-learning through art and social practice and possibilities in a pluriversal future.

 

For the artist, recognising the agency of emotional reckoning in diaspora communities holds the potential to centre radical spaces of knowledge-making from the margin, especially in spaces dominated by the colonialist narrative, such as the United Kingdom where Tran lives and works. The exhibition includes objects made of flexible textile belts anchored by handmade cubes, precariously positioned by pins that speak to the imposing systems of assimilation encountered in the immigrant experience - these metaphoric circular belts reshape in countless configurations and are purposefully agile and portable; photographs and video recordings of live performances focus on the cathartic power of ‘sadness’ and new ways of critical thinking that can be derived from the joys of recognition in shared emotional vulnerability; an interactive puzzle - originally a solo piece invites viewers to partake in a collective performance and considers togetherness and reflection on the extractive practices of migrant labour.