Nha San Collective - SWFP3 - Knowledge Exchange - Appendix Group and Historian Liam Kelley


A series of seminars within Skylines with flying people 3

Appendix Group - “Reunion Journey 1”
Historian Liam Kelley – “Visualizing Vietnam: From the Past to the Present”

Sunday, 10.07.2016, 16:30 – 19:00
15th floor, Hanoi Creative City, 1 Luong Yen, Hanoi

Skylines with flying people 3 expands the artistic territory to the field of social sciences and humanities. Organized within the scope of SWFP 3, Knowledge exchange seminars aim to increase awareness of a contemporary Vietnam and to promote dialogues and collaborations amongst different fields and communities, so as to generate new knowledge as well as diverse and creative initiatives.

Each seminar follows subject matters that are relevant to the 12 sub-projects within Skylines with flying people 3, with discussions conducted by an artist and an expert in another discipline such as history, archeology, sociology, etc. Knowledge exchange seminars will be held from March 2016 to December 2016 at different venues in Hanoi.

The second seminar will be the presentation and discussion between Liam Kelley, historian, associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Appendix group, participating artist of Skylines with flying people 3.

The seminar will be held in English and Vietnamese
Moderator: Bui Kim Dinh

* Appendix Group - “Reunion Journey 1”

Appendix will introduce their performance art project which took place in December 2015. Their project explores a predetermined agenda that involves various confrontations with the complex history through the journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City on the train known as Thống Nhất; with each member of the group carrying different allegorical objects of personal importance to them.

* Historian Liam Kelley – “Visualizing Vietnam: From the Past to the Present”

If you take the Thống Nhất train from Hanoi to Saigon/HCMC (or from Saigon/HCMC to Hanoi), you can literally “see” Vietnam, and this can help you “visualize” (in your mind) the country. Similarly, if you look at a map you can also “visualize” Vietnam. However, trains and the type of maps that we are familiar with today are both “modern.” They were both introduced into Vietnam in the late nineteenth century.

So what did Vietnam “look like” before that time? How did people “see” or “visualize” (in their minds) Vietnam prior to the late nineteenth century? What effects did new ways of visualizing the land bring? This is the topic that this talk will cover. In the process, it will introduce some of the ways that scholars have talked about this issue of “visualizing” a nation.

The Appendix, founded in 2010 by six artists, is an active performance art group with four core members: Vũ Đức Toàn, Nguyễn Huy An, Nguyễn Song, Ngô Thành Bắc. In the usual office attires of black slacks and white shirts, they perform repetitive, programmed actions or movements over the course of several hours, utilising everyday objects as props. Appendix creates slowed down portraits of our rapidly changing, and increasingly difficult to define society. Their complex group performances allow the audience to quiet down and slow down to their pace, and to carefully consider the forces – the violence, values and traditions at work beneath supposed standardization and monotony. Appendix participated in various local and international events including international performance art festivals in Korea, Singapore and “Skylines with Flying People 2” in Hanoi.

Liam Kelley is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He teaches about Southeast Asian history, and researches and writes about Vietnamese history. Recently he has been researching about the efforts to discover the origins of the Vietnamese by various people in modern times, from French scholars during the colonial period to various Vietnamese scholars in the post-colonial era. He is also the co-founder of Engaging With Vietnam Conference Series since 2010.


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