The 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art: Still Present!
I am incredibly excited and honoured to have been selected to participate in the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art curated by Kader Attia https://12.berlinbiennale.de/…/artists-of-the-12th…/.
One of my two artworks included in Still Present!, the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art – this one is titled Vomit Girl (Berlin Cluster) 2022. Venue: KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin. See also Artist Profile Issue 59 article by Đỗ Tường Linh titled If You Could Not Say.
The second artwork I’ve contributed to the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art is titled Specimen (Permeate) 2022, informed by repurposed domestic jars, organic matter, and personal effects collected over several decades and from Berlin where I re/made the work after months of exploratory conversation Berlin Biennale curator Kader Attia and team.
Special thanks to Kader Attia, Đỗ Tường Linh from the Berlin Biennale Artistic Team, and Assistant Curator Marie-Sophie Dorsch – and to Gina Fairley who curated the first iteration of this Specimen artwork as part of my Beyogmos solo show at Wollongong Art Gallery in 2014.
ARTIST PROFILE article If You Could Not Say by Đỗ Tường Linh
Text Excerpt from Artist Profile social media feed:
“For Nguyễn-Long, ‘the recurring vomit motif came from a sense of being erased: having no identity, language, or voice to speak with. There is overwhelming sadness and confusion about how to bridge the dense chasm of exclusionary narratives, misunderstandings, discrimination, rejection, and shame.’ Regardless of this violent and traumatic process, Nguyễn-Long has never stopped finding ways to reconnect with Vietnam and (re)study language . . .”
In our new issue, Đỗ Tường Linh shares an essay on Mai Nguyễn-Long, as she prepares to exhibit at the 12th Berlin Biennale this month. Saskia Wilson’s exclusive portraits of Nguyễn-Long in her studio accompany the essay, which explores the artist’s new and historical works, the significance of clay as a “grounding” material, and the subtle humour of the “Vomit Girl” series.
Find the new issue on news stands, in gallery shops, book stores, and art supply shops now. You can also order it for delivery as part oil subscription packages today at the link in bio.
IMAGE: Mai Nguyễn-Long photographed by Saskia Wilson for Artist Profile, 2022
MEDIA SAMPLES Berlin Biennale 12:
7 Standout Works at the 2022 Berlin Biennale, From ‘Vomit Girl’ Sculptures to Videos Reflecting on the Vietnamese Diaspora
By Emily Watlington, Associate Editor, Art in America, 13 June 2022
“On the top floor at KW, a cluster of ceramic sculptures depicts different versions of Vomit Girl—a character developed by the Australia-based artist Mai Nguyễn-Long. Each of the feminine figures, with shapes and motifs inspired by traditional Vietnamese architecture, are regurgitating, and little coils and balls suggesting vomit are placed playfully about the plinth. For the artist, the character is a way to grapple with the trauma of the Vietnam War. She says that her vomit motif came from “a sense of being erased: having no identity, language, or voice to speak with.” The series stands out from other works in the show by focusing on the emotional aspects of war and imperalism in a playful yet still incisive manner—elsewhere, didacticism and fact-oriented approaches dominate.”
NEW YORK TIMES
Artist and Curator Kader Attia’s Relentlessly Grim Berlin Biennale Forces Audiences to Confront the Ills of Capitalism
The 12th Berlin Biennale opens to the public June 11.
June 10, 2022 Kate Brown
12th Berlin Biennale Review – Kader Attia’s Broadside Against Global Iniquity
14 June 2022 Martine Herbert
‘Like Dining on Sawdust’
16 JUN 22 Rahel Aima is a writer and editor based in Dubai. UE Reviews.
“Also of note are Mai Nguyễn-Long’s delightful Vomit Girl (Berlin Cluster) (2022), clay sculptures inspired by Vietnamese Dinh architecture, and her unnerving installation of doll parts and plants in jars that recall specimens of Agent Orange-affected organs and foetuses (Specimen, 2014).“
06/09/2022, 19:19 | Reading time: 2 minutes
Nordic Art Review
Free the Synapses!
27.06.22 Nicholas Norton
“Specimen (2014) by Mai Nguyen-Long comprises a shelf filled with laboratory glassware containing doll parts and replicas of tissue samples and mutated organs. A visceral illustration of the consequences of the United States’ use of chemical weapons (Agent Orange) during the Vietnam War, but in the context of the exhibition it can be linked more generally to weapons that strike arbitrarily and inflict damage over generations.”
“Mai Nguyễn-Long: Vomit Girl
On the occasion of the 12th Berlin Biennale, the Vietnamese artist Mai Nguyễn-Long presents Vomit Girls.
Australian Artist Mai Nguyen-Long shines at 2022 Berlin Biennale
Heath | 24-Jun-2022
From Bulli to Berlin, Australian artist Mai Nguyen-Long takes her intriguing contemporary work to the international art stage.
“Navigating life and the art world as an Australian/Vietnamese woman, Mai’s narrative explores layered complexities of identity, cultural dis/connection, the deeply personal, psychological, emotional, ritual and spiritual. Nguyen-Long has recently reconnected with her Vietnamese heritage and its rich cultural traditions aligning language, research and ceramic making to inform her new work and current PhD studies.”
Text: Maria Muñoz | June 14, 2022
BERLIN BIENNALE CATALOGUE
“Mai Nguyễn-Long lives and works in Bulli, Dharawal Country, AU
Born in Tasmania to a Vietnamese father and an Australian mother, Mai Nguyễn-Long grew up in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines; as an adult she has lived in Australia, China, and Vietnam. This trajectory of migration during times of social and political upheaval has allowed Nguyễn-Long to make sense of her identity, history, and cultural heritage.
For the 12th Berlin Biennale, the artist presents two bodies of work: VOMIT GIRL (BERLIN CLUSTER) and SPECIMEN (PERMEATE) (both 2022). With VOMIT GIRL (BERLIN CLUSTER), Nguyễn-Long grapples with the historical trauma of the Vietnam War and the mental division it created between North and South, both of which form part of the artist’s hybrid identity. For Nguyễn-Long, “the recurring vomit motif came from a sense of being erased: having no identity, language, or voice to speak with. There is overwhelming sadness and confusion about how to bridge the dense chasm of exclusionary narratives, misunderstandings, discrimination, rejection, and shame.” Inspired by the rustic aesthetics (MỘC MẠC) and playfulness of traditional Vietnamese ĐÌNH architecture, Nguyễn-Long has experimented with clay to create the various manifestations of VOMIT GIRL (BERLIN CLUSTER). This work is a powerful symbol of resistance as well as a ritual summoning of spirits from the beyond. SPECIMEN (PERMEATE) eerily recalls images of fetuses and organs labeled and stored in glass hospital jars. Both works evoke the Agent Orange disaster that continues to haunt thousands of lives. Nguyễn-Long’s works are a potent reminder of this horrific crime that was nearly forgotten even in Vietnam, where the fast pace of capitalism has eclipsed historical memory.
Đỗ Tường Linh”
Text from pages 120-121 of the12th Biennale for Contemporary Art catalogue. Exhibition dates 11 June – 18 September 2022 curated by Kader Attia.
My participation in this project has been made possible by the generous support of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; and the NSW Government through Create NSW.
This page last updated 1 July 2022.
For related updates go to: Instagram @mainguyenlong and ‘Mai Nguyen-Long’ on Facebook.
OCTOBER SOLO SHOW AT ART ATRIUM news update 11 May 2022
I am excited to be exhibiting at Art Atrium from 8- 22 October 2022. My solo show will be in tandem with a solo show by William Yang, also at Art Atrium. For more information go to: https://artatrium.com.au/upcoming-exhibitions/
THE VOMIT GIRL PROJECT: VIGIT-WORANA-DOBA 2017-2022
We are all that is vile, and all
That grace. At the arcane hub
Of each rising vortex: Nothing really is.
Then nothing ever is not…
Đỗ Mỹ Thiện [Thien Do/Đỗ Thiện], Into the Caldera, Tweed Valley Winter 2014, courtesy Maree Do, 29 December 2021, poem (excerpt).
ART ATRIUM SUMMER SOJOURN 2021
Very excited to have my article Connectivity, Fusion, Revival: Tet Stories and Motifs (pages 4-6) published in the latest issue of TAASA Review, The Asian Arts Society of Australia. Thank you TAASA! Snapshot of TAASA Review cover image and table of contents. Refer to TAASA website for more details:
Dong Ho Inspired Printmaking Activity + Introductory Display of Dong Ho Prints. Conceived by Mai Nguyen-Long. Facilitated with assistance from Felix Long, Jasmin Lockwood, and Stuart Horstman. Supported by Sydney Lunar Festival 2020; Vietnam Centre Australia Chapter affiliated project. Special thanks to Hanh Nguyen, Linh Ngoc Le of VNC and Mai Nguyen of INGO. Photos taken by Nguyen Kim Long:
ART ATRIUM NEWS: December 2019 I was lucky to be invited to exhibit with Art Atrium’s Summer Sojourn group show, celebrating the gallery’s tenth anniversary in their grand new Botany address. I got a good vibe from the gallery and family of artists represented, so am very happy to announce that I too am now represented by Art Atrium. I’ve chosen a photo by William Yang for the website profile – William is also represented by Art Atrium (I am in good company😊). Thank you for your support Simon Chan, I’m excited to be starting a new relationship! 11.03.2020 https://artatrium.com.au/
Thank you Artist Profile and Kon Gouriotis – it was fabulous working with you;
and many thanks to William Yang for the photo!
Have some fun printing these images from blocks I’ve carved, choosing from a range of coloured paper FREE courtesy Sydney Lunar Festival: one of the activities on offer at my street stall. Happy Tet and Happy Lunar New Year everyone! #SydneyLunarFestival #VietnamCentre #ArtAtrium https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/dong-ho-vietnam-inspired-printmaking-activity
Copyright All material on this site is copyright of Mai Nguyen-Long unless otherwise stated. All other images/photographs are the property of their respective author/s and may not be used without permission.