Following the previous quick interviews of artists Baye Ndiaga and Kh Bamba, the next artist is one of R Magazine’s own members. Jasmine Thy Nguyen, from Vietnam, is studying art and social sciences in France alongside pursuing the beginning of her artistic career. Lately, she participated in ART.I.CULATE’s digital art exhibition “Colors of Confluence” with 40 other young artists.
In partnership with Artdialogo Asia and AUREO Gallery, the ART.I.CULATE program promotes artistic collaboration and cultural exchange between young artists from the UK and five ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). Adapting to the pandemic situation and answering to today’s expectations for cross-cultural and transnational art, the digital exhibition format allows reaching a global audience.
Through her international experience, Jasmine shares in this exhibition her positive vision of art based on both worldwide collaboration and promotion of cultural diversity.
- Where are you from and what inspires you as a young artist?
I’m Jasmine from Vietnam. As a young artist, I am mostly inspired by my own experience with my own society, by people that I’ve met in my life, or by cultures that I have been exposed to. For me, the role of the artist is to display social ills in order to denounce and raise our voices contesting inequalities and discriminations in our society. My hope is to denounce the imposition of negative social norms that stop us from living our identity and our uniqueness.
- How did you experiment with the importance of exploring your passions and opportunities to learn about other cultures during the Pandemic?
I have participated in various cultural exchange programs and I have soon integrated into an international environment so I understand the importance of cultural diversity. During the pandemic, we have been confronting problems in connection and physical contact with others. I think this period of sanitary crisis is an opportunity for us to find a new way to learn about other cultures. and the idea of exploring other cultures through art and creation is very interesting. For me, Art is a universal language that connects us. We can communicate with each other without the language barrier. For example, I do not have a lot of chances to speak to other cohorts but when they show me their artworks, I immediately understand their messages and what they want to say. Art and creation are tools to transform society in a better way.
- How was your experience in ARTICULATE?
I must confess that before this program, I didn’t realize the importance of protecting traditions. ARTICULATE has helped me to realize how I am missing this important value. Throughout the four masterclasses, I have learned a lot about cultural diversity, how to collaborate with others and also how to use my art to spread my messages. I have defined two missions as a young artist: not only to dive into diversity, approach innovation through collaborations but also to conserve traditions and cultural heritage. We must protect our singularities and unique identities during this era of integration and globalization.
Finally, I want to thank Karina, Bien King and all ARTICULATE host teams for organizing and animating a wonderful program. I also would love to thank all cohorts that have participated in this year’s program for sharing their culture and their experiences. You have inspired me a lot with your art practice.
- What are your objectives and aspirations after ARTICULATE?
After ARTICULATE, I will continue developing my art skills and seriously pursuing my artistic career. Secondly, I intend to engage myself more in associative life. I want to raise awareness among young people about the importance of diversity and tradition. My dream is to create an organization in order to enhance the collaboration between international artists and also to level up the position of art in Vietnamese daily life. My father once said: you should dedicate yourself to society. If you contribute to society, your life will be more meaningful.
To access the exhibition before its closing down on the 30th of June:
“The unity of singularities represents my visions when all artists around the world become one. Together, we use their artistic talents to spread positive messages and contribute to social change. Although we aim for common goals, the identity uniqueness of each individual is always preserved and maintained. Art is the tool to transform the world. Collaboration is building a force to enhance our power.”
“My body, my rules” is an action-photographic work where I dress in the traditional Vietnamese dress, which is very tight and difficult to move. My body at this moment feels very uncomfortable, restricted and constrained under this clothing. This reaction of my body reminds me of my experiences when I was in Vietnam, when I was forced by norms to be a virtuous and chaste girl.
Then, I find myself doing many “masculine” activities and movements which are not for girls according to Vietnamese culture, while still dressed in this traditional garment. I was inspired by the work “24 hours in the life of an ordinary woman”, by Michel Journiac.
Men and women have to conform themselves to sexual norms forever. Women are forced to behave “as a woman” or to adopt a “feminine” behaviour and the opposite for men. This sexual normativity is stricter in Asian countries, especially in Vietnam. This is also a product of social norms. And when I do “masculine” activities while wearing traditional “feminine” dress, my body at this moment becomes a place of conflict and fusion between the norms of two sexes.”
– Jasmine Thy Nguyen