Nha San Collective - Open Studio by Vu Duc Toan and Phung Tien Son
Unlikely the war with America or France, the war at the borderlines with China are more likely an unknown to public through the official media, especially the battles taken place in the battlefield VI Xuyen - Ha Tuyen in 1984, nearly 10 years after the Liberation day. They were like forbidden topics, despite the fact that, today its consequences still directly affect that area and the people living there. The borderlines between countries in all maps are very clear with boundary drawing lines, but in real life, they are just landscapes without stable structure containing unspoken fears, pains and heavy memories. These misty, vulnerable of being violated, and movable borderlines, especially the ones between Vietnam and China have inspired Vu Duc Toan. The war at the borderlines took place when the artist was still a boy being nurtured in the social and economic subsidy strongly influenced by Soviet Union China. The lack of information, the silence of the mature people at that time about the war brought curiosity and strong passion to the artist.
Toàn follows the tracks of history and the traces of transformation, collects personal memories to convey a pervasive sense of dislocation, loss and pain as well as to mend the lives destroyed here. In this work about the war at the borderlines with China, Toan seeks the ways expressing the devastation, the loss, the fragile lives in front of transforms of history and politics.
In July 2013 Vũ Đức Toàn and his mates Phùng Tiến Sơn, Ban Ga, Trần Nam made a trip to Vị Xuyên, Hà Giang, where the war with China took place in 1984. Indeed, they went to visit the martyrs' cemetery VI Xuyen.
The martyrs' cemetery VI Xuyen (where collect 1770 graves of martyrs in the battles with Chinese between 1981-1991, especially in the most fierce period 1984-1985. This Cemetery lies by the National route 2, belonged to Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang Province.