In her new video work đuổi đom đóm (Under the Fireflies), Quynh Dong plays on Ferdinand Hodler’s The Woodcutter (1910) to illustrate the tribulations of the humble Vietnamese farm worker, whilst insinuating a deeper action of violence still prevalent in present day. One of the best-known Swiss painters of the 19th century, Hodler had painted the lumberjack against a blank backdrop of a white sky in The Woodcutter (1910), which has since become a symbol of strength, authenticity and resilience in Swiss culture and history. Echoing this work, Dong frames the Vietnamese farmer as a central figure who tirelessly hits the air with a stick as fireflies fly towards him like pouring rain. A reference to the character Bát Lê from Nguyễn Tuân’s 1940 Vang Bóng Một Thời (A Memorable Time), the enigmatic figure is symbolic of the every man and brings us back to the time where Confucian ideology was receding to a new French-influenced culture in 1930s Vietnam. Yet his repetitive action of violence raises questions on the continued practice of beheading still performed by the Vietnamese military today. Such violence intermixed with nostalgia is further dramatized by the EDM soundscape Dong has created. The work is also informed by Gillo Dorfles’ Kitsch: The World of Bad Taste; but kitsch in Dong’s work takes on a new meaning in the form of an NFT. While mass production in World War II had defined ‘bad taste’, the notion of equality is reset with NFTs in modern day. In an unassuming manner, đuổi đom đóm holds a sensibility that is, in its arbitrariness, necessarily urgent.