Artist talk with Joan Jonas and Thao Nguyen Phan12 Feb 2017 

Joan Jonas and Phan Thảo Nguyên
Date: 12 February 2017

Time: 4.00PM – 6.00PM
Location: The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre
15 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien Ward, D.2, HCMC


A passionate discussion on art between Rolex Mentor Joan Jonas and Protégée Phan Thảo Nguyên to be held at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Vietnam

Internationally acclaimed, pioneering American performance and video artist Joan Jonas will share the stage with visual artist Phan Thảo Nguyên, her protégée in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, at a lecture and discussion held from 4pm, on 12 February at Ho Chi Minh City’s Factory Contemporary Arts Centre.

As part of the lecture, “Mentorship: Revealing an Artistic Practice”, Jonas will relate her experiences in a career that spans over nearly a half century and reveal her views on society in light of contemporary art. Following the lecture, Phan Thảo Nguyên, herself a multimedia artist from Ho Chi Minh City who uses painting, installation, video and performance to depict historical and contemporary concepts, will discuss her artistic interaction with the legendary Jonas over the past 10 months.

In particular, the event will highlight the creative dialogue between these two artists of different generations and cultures.

The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre is an independent art centre that creates and hosts interdisciplinary contemporary art and cultural activities in order to introduce and expand knowledge of art and cultural trends, both past and present, in Vietnam.

Joan Jonas

Described by London’s Guardian newspaper as a “titan of the American avant garde”, the internationally acclaimed, New York-based, performance and video artist Joan Jonas has made an indelible mark on the visual arts over nearly a half century – and continues to do so. Performance opened things up in the art world, says Jonas, whose pioneering works in New York’s late-1960s downtown art scene drew inspiration from a variety of artistic genres and cultures. Trained in art history and sculpture at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at New York’s Columbia University, where she received an MFA in Sculpture in 1965, she soon abandoned her career as a sculptor and turned to the relatively unexplored area of performance and video, incorporating multimedia and featuring a variety of themes from mythological narratives to mirrors. Beginning in the late 1960s, she performed the groundbreaking Mirror Pieces that uses mirrors as a visual device. This was followed by, among other works, Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy (1972), which explores women’s shifting roles. In the 1990s, in pieces such as the My New Theater series, Jonas moved away from a dependence on her physical presence. A major retrospective of her work, Light Time Tales, was showcased in 2014-2015 at Milan’s HangarBicocca. Her multimedia installation, They Come to Us Without a Word, evoking an ecologically challenged world, drew huge crowds to the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. A solo exhibition at DHC/Art in Montreal ran from April to September 2016. Winner of numerous honours, including a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jonas taught at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and was a professor at Stuttgart’s State Academy of Art and Design and for 17 years at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where she is Professor Emerita in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology.

Phan Thảo Nguyên

Phan Thảo Nguyên has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art in Vietnam. Through literature, philosophy and daily life, she observes ambiguous issues in social convention, history and tradition. An honours graduate from Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts in 2009, four years later Phan Thảo Nguyên received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Today, in addition to her work as a multimedia artist, she has joined forces with artist Trương Công Tùng and curator Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần to form Art Labor. This collective explores cross-disciplinary practices and develops art projects that will benefit the local community. Phan Thảo Nguyên is expanding her “theatrical fields”, including what she calls performance gesture and moving images, under the guidance of pioneering visual artist Joan Jonas whom she considers the “ideal mentor”. Phan Thảo Nguyên has exhibited widely in Southeast Asia.

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative is a philanthropic program that was set up in 2002 to make a contribution to global culture. The program seeks out gifted young artists from all over the world and brings them together with artistic masters for a year of creative collaboration in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. In keeping with its tradition of supporting individual excellence, Rolex gives emerging artists time to learn, create and grow.

Over the past decade, Rolex has paired mentors and protégés in dance, film, literature, music, theatre, visual arts and – as of 2012 – architecture. In the decade since it was launched, the mentoring program has evolved into an enriching dialogue between artists of different generations, cultures and disciplines, helping ensure that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on to the next generation. 


Residencies OPEN: Art After Dark!  13 Jan 2017, Fri 07:00 PM - 11:00 PM at Gillman Barracks, Singapore

Artist in Residency at NTU CCA Singapore, January and March 2017

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3 January – 26 January 2017

22 February – 24 March 2017


Through a combination of painting, video, performance, and installation, the artistic practice of Thao-Phan Nguyen (Vietnam) focuses on historical events, traditional narratives, and minor gestures producing a refined imaginary that challenges common assumptions and social conventions. She has the ability to condense the manifold references to history, literature, philosophy, and theory that always frame her research into subtly poetic artworks that open up news spaces for reflection. Since 2016, she is the protégé of American artist Joan Jonas within the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, a programme which pairs gifted young artists with internationally recognised masters, sponsoring them to spend a year in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. Her recent exhibitions include Concept Context Contestation, Art and the Collective in South East Asia, Goethe Institut, Hanoi, Vietnam (2016); Haunted Thresholds: Spirituality in Contemporary Southeast Asia, Kunstverein Göttingen, Germany, (2014). and Tâm Tã, Hanoi Fine Arts Museum, Vietnam (2014). In 2012, she founded the collective Art Labor together with artist Truong Cong Tung and curator Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran Phan.


Thao-Nguyen Phan will expand her research on the introduction of the Latin alphabet as a writing system in Vietnam, exploring how the same transition occurred in other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In Vietnam, the Romanised script was first introduced in the 17th century by catholic missionaries to spread Christianity, playing a significant role in the process of colonization of the country. While official accounts celebrate the adoption of the Latin alphabet as a symbol of modernity, the implications of this historical process are far more complex and tell stories of cultural loss and gain, national amnesia, and violence.

Embedded South(s)

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Embedded South(s)
An online moving-image exhibition
November 3–6, 2016 

Artists: Bani Abidi (Germany/Pakistan); Fernando Arias (Colombia); Kannan Arunasalam (Sri Lanka); Sammy Baloji/ Lázara Rosell Albear (DR Congo/Cuba); Tiffany Chung (Vietnam/USA); Bakary Diallo (Mali); Andrew Esiebo/Annalisa Butticci (Nigeria/The Netherlands); Shanaka Galagoda (Sri Lanka); Ayrson Heráclito (Brazil); Sasha Huber (Switzerland/Haiti); Claudia Joskowicz (Bolivia/USA); Amar Kanwar (India); Mikhail Karikis (Greece/UK); Jompet Kuswidananto (Indonesia); Dinh Q Lê (Vietnam); Giovanna Miralles (Bolivia); Nguyễn Hương Trà (Vietnam); Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mai (Vietnam); Nguyễn Trinh Thi (Vietnam); David-Douglas Masamuna Ntimasiemi (DR Congo); Phan Thảo Nguyên (Vietnam); Renata Padovan (Brazil); Chulayarnnon Siriphol (Thailand); Sutthirat Supaparinya (Thailand); Kidlat Tahimik (The Philippines); Trần Lương (Vietnam); Trương Công Tùng (Vietnam); Vandy Rattana (Cambodia/Japan)

Co-curated by Zoe Butt (Executive Director and Curator, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City), Gabriela Salgado (Independent curator, London), and Lê Thuận Uyên (Independent researcher, Hanoi)

Embedded South(s) is an online moving-image exhibition examining particular cultural phenomena, within the complex social geographies of those who identify with a "south." Screened across three continents from November 3–6, 2016, with unique thematic each night, this program showcases the work of 29 artists from South Asia, South East Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

By "south" we understand this to be a geo-political terminology that labels a particular "tropic," often economically considered "developing" and culturally suffering the trauma of coloniality. However, we also understand this "south" to be a mobile entity in its diaspora, with many "souths" now in transference within the global flows of migration (forced, voluntary, political, or economic).

Anywhere but Here 

September 14 - November 5, 2016

Opening: Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6-9pm

Felix González-Torres, Hàm Nghi, Thao‑Nguyen Phan, Pratchaya Phinthong, Vandy Rattana, SAAP (Singapore Art Archive Project), Khvay Samnang, Albert Samreth, Sa Sa Art Projects, Shui Tit Sing, Shooshie Sulaiman, Tran Minh Duc, Vuth Lyno

Curators : Mélanie Mermod & Vera Mey

Anywhere But Here (N’importe où sauf ici, គ្រប់ទីកន្លែង លើកលែងទីនេះ) brings together art­works that seek out some cir­cu­la­tions of objects, fig­ures or ges­tures in rela­tion to Cambodia, and more broadly within the geopo­lit­ical con­text of Southeast Asia. With a focus on deter­ri­to­ri­al­iza­tion – whether they would be forced or driven by free will, con­se­quences of uncon­trol­lable slip­pages or trans­fers care­fully orches­trated – these col­lected sto­ries of move­ments draw van­ishing points within pre­vailing pro­cesses of his­tory-making and pat­ri­mo­nial her­itage.

Numerous shifts of power in Cambodia have repeat­edly recast the con­cep­tion of cul­ture and his­to­ri­al­iza­tion of facts and pat­ri­mony, including the seem­ingly time­less and ongoing ten­sions with its neigh­bors Vietnam and Thailand, the colo­nial French Protectorate (1863-1953), the 1970 coup leading to the assump­tion of power of Lon Nol, the fol­lowing four years of civil war (1970-1974), mean­while the rise South-East Asian Communist par­ties and the geno­cidal rule of the Khmer Rouge Regime (1975-1979), to the Vietnamese ruled People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1991), the rule of United Nations Transitional Authority over the country (1992-1993), which led to the auto­cratic rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen (since 1998).

The works pre­sented in Anywhere But Here address marginal move­ments devel­op­ping within his­tor­ical moments, such as the forced exile or vol­un­tary dis­place­ments of intel­lec­tuals to France and its colonies (Hàm NghiTran Minh Duc). The works of Thao-Nguyen Phan evoke the after-effects of French and Japanese intru­sions on the evo­lu­tion of agrarian land­scape and def­er­ence ges­tures, while others invent new sce­narios in pat­ri­mo­nial spaces (Shooshie SulaimanPratchaya Phinthong). Some works trace the inti­mate tra­jec­to­ries of objects and anony­mous per­sons (Felix González-TorresKhvay SamnangVuth Lyno), while others take as their starting point former artists’ jour­neys that lie ambigu­ously between a quest for dis­ori­en­ta­tion or a quest of tan­gible ori­gins (Albert SamrethSingapore Art Archive ProjectVandy Rattana).

Rolex mentors and protégés in visual arts, 2016-2017

The legendary Joan Jonas accepted Rolex’s invitation to be a mentor because, she says: “I enjoy meeting young artists and am curious about their concerns in this chaotic and difficult time. I hope to have a dialogue that might clarify thoughts and ideas. Also to exchange with another, information previously hidden – and to visit unknown spaces.” Moved by Jonas’s “extraordinary power to reinvent, being so groundbreaking from one work to the next”, protégée Thao-Nguyen Phan believes the mentorship will be “double-layered by the intimacy between two artistic souls and the complexity of shared history between Vietnam and the United States”.

Workshop and exhibition at Villa Iris, Santander, Spain, organized by Foundation Botin, 6-23 June 2016


The American artist Joan Jonas (New York, 1936) will direct Fundación Botín’s 2016 Visual Arts Workshop, to be held at Fundación Botín’s Villa Iris in Santander from June 6 to 23.

The 15 selected artists will both participate in the production of a new work by Joan Jonas and develop individual work that will focus on the subject of landscape, whether rural or urban. Using different approaches and perspectives, the artist will discuss the issue of sustainability in rural areas, taking into account “biodiversity and the conservation of traditions, architecture and landscape.” The resulting work will be presented at Villa Iris for two weeks as of June 23, while Fundación Botín’s exhibition space will feature the new work by Joan Jonas from June 24 to October 16.

Artists wishing to be considered for this workshop are invited to reflect upon the part landscape plays in their work. While this notion can of course be interpreted in different ways according to one’s interests and/or medium, the issue of sustainability in a rural area is an important one, whether from the standpoint of biodiversity, the preservation of traditions, architecture and landscapes. The issues implied are shared all over the world, as habitats are misused or disappear. One may choose any detail in the social network of nature to focus on. This might include certain systems such as roads or rivers, trees or wildlife.

Artist selected: Saverio Bonato (Italy); Sara Bonaventura (Italy); Aliansyah Caniago (Indonesia); Santiago Diaz Escamilla (Colombia); Galia Eibenschutz (Mexico); Ariel Elisabeth Gout (France); Allison Janae Hamilton (USA); Sonja Silke Hinrichsen (Germany); Noriko Koshida (Japan); Alessandra Messali (Italy); Carolina Redondo (Chile); Mara Danielle Streberger Elizalde (USA); Yusuke Taninaka (Japan); Phan Thao-Nguyen (Vietnam); Xavier José Cunilleras(España).

Art talk: Nguyen Manh Hung & Phan Thao Nguyen at gallerie Quynh

Galerie Quynh is pleased to invite you to an informal discussion with Nguyen Manh Hung and Phan Thao Nguyen on the occasion of Hung’s current solo exhibition at the gallery Farmers Got Power. We are thrilled to continue supporting educational programming – an important part of Galerie Quynh’s activities over the last decade.


Unromantic Memories, Dec 1 - 30, 2015

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Date: 1st December ~ 30th December 2015

Venue: Gellery LOTUS, Youlhwadang Publishers, GyeongGi, Korea

Participant artists: Nguyen Trinh Thi, Phan Thao Nguyen, Phan Quang, The Propeller Group, Yang Yoonim, Yi Boram, Lee Sooyoung, Lee Wonho, Lee Changhoon, Joen Suhyun

Curated by Kim Jihye 

Artist Fair Taiwan: Oct 2-9, 2015

Sàn Art to participate in the 14th Artist Fair Taiwan 2015, Taipei with works by Dinh Q. Le, Lena Bui, Le Phi Long, Pham Ngoc Lan, Phan Quang, Phan Thao Nguyen, Phunam, Tran Tuan and UuDam Tran Nguyen

Dates of Fair for San Art: 2 – 5 October, 2015


Zone D, Taipei Expo Park, Expo Dome

No. 1, Yumen St., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City 104, Taiwan

Grand opening: 18:00 – 20:00, 2 October 2015

Opening hours: 11:00 – 19:30, 2 – 9 October 2015

Fair Organizer: Association of the Visual Arts in Taiwan (AVAT)

Concept Context Contestation traveling exhibition: June 18-30,2015

Modern Love, Institute of contemporary arts, singapore: 6 November - 4 February, 2015 

Mekong Platform, Milan Image Art & Design fair 2014, Singapore: 24-26 October, 2014

Being the longest river in Southeast Asia, the Mekong rises in China, crossing and bordering Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. For centuries these populations have depended on the river and its tributaries for food, water and transport, shaping their life and culture along its magnificent watercourse. Worldwide the Mekong is known for its arresting landscapes. From deserts to flourishing vegetation, the river offers life and death to its inhabitants. At the same time, the rapid transformation of its indigenous communities towards global societies and invasive human intervention is jeopardizing   the river’s reach cultural identity. The artists and works featured in WATER/ Life Line – Photography and Video Art from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam bring together diverse stories from the Mekong countries about their relationship with water: how the river pervades their lives, its impact on the surrounding landscape and how this rapidly transforming region adapts to global expectations. By featuring an array of telling images and personal stories of the community living on the riverbanks, the viewer is immersed in the spectacle of nature, at times indulgent while at other times unforgiving.

Featured Artists Anida Yoeu AliLim Sokchanlina (Cambodia) Bounpaul Phothyzan (Laos) Nge Lay (Myanmar) Piyatat Hemmatat, Supaparinya Sutthirat (Thailand) Thao Nguyen Phan (Vietnam)

Unconditional Belief, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, 27 February - 2 May, 2014 


Exhibition date: 27 February – 2 May 2014

Venue: Sàn Art 3 Me Linh,  Binh Thanh Dist, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Artist talkThe value of artistic labor as a laboratory of ideas

Thursday, 24 April, 2014 at 6 pm at San Art

See more at:

Right Fiction, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, 7 November - 24 January, 2014 

Group Exhibition

Where: Sàn Art, 3 Me Linh Street, District Binh Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

When: 7th November 2013 to 24th January 2014.

San Art is pleased to present ‘Right Fiction’ – a group exhibition featuring painting, photography, installation and video by artists Nguyen Hong Ngoc and Phan Thao Nguyen that concludes their time with ‘San Art Laboratory: Session Three’.

Concept, Context and Contestation, Art and the Collective in South East Asia, Bangkok Art and Culture center (BACC), Thailand 


13 December 2013 – 2 March 2014 
Opening reception on Thursday 12 December 2013, 6:30 pm.
Press Tour 4:00 pm.
Live Performances by Artists from 7:30 pm.
Main Gallery, 8th floor

BACC exhibition Concept Context Contestation: art and the collective in Southeast Asia
A new exhibition about conceptual approaches to making art for, with, and about the collective and collective issues in Southeast Asia.

Celebrating ASEAN integration commencing in 2015, BACC is proudly presenting a new and specially BACC-commissioned exhibition of regional contemporary visual art, the biggest ever Southeast Asian contemporary art show produced in Thailand Concept Context Contestation: art and the collective in Southeast Asia.

With nearly 50 artworks by over 40 celebrated internationally-known Southeast Asian artists of three generations from eight countries; Thailand Sutee Kunavichayanont, Vasan Sitthiket, Manit Sriwanichpoom and new generation artists; Indonesia FX Harsono, Eko Nugroho and Daging Tumbuh and Popok Tri Wahyudi; Philippines Imelda Cajipe Endaya and Alwin Reamillo; Vietnam Vu Dan Tan; Malaysia Simryn Gill and Wong Hoy Cheong; Singapore Amanda Heng and Lee Wen; Burma and Cambodia, the show will chart one of regional contemporary art’s most important threads, locally-rooted conceptual thinking used to engage in ideas about and for the collective. It will investigate the close connection between conceptual approaches and social ideologies in Southeast Asian contemporary art of the last four decades and will offer art historical insights into our own regional visual culture of today. The exhibition will defend the idea that conceptual approaches used in contemporary art of Southeast Asia are not necessarily imported but rather can find their source in home culture.

Concept Context Contestation: art and the collective in Southeast Asia will be documented by a fully-illustrated ten-essay research catalogue by the curators and other specialists and will also feature a weekend of free public educational talks and panel discussions by experts in the field. The show will present media of all types including interactive forms designed to stimulate public engagement and create dynamic dialogue along the journey. Thus repeated visits can yield a different experience each time, so fully illustrating the way in which Southeast Asian contemporary art and life mesh.