Dispatches from Phong Phú  

Alvin Luong

Alvin Luong shares three dispatches from Phong Phú, a former commune which was an active community and resistance site against the French and American occupations of Vietnam. The commune produced anti-imperialist agitprop, trained guerrillas to fight the Americans in Saigon, and was also a battlefield during the war against the Americans. The land now sits in a limbo state of being semi-developed with its marshy fields punctuated by a few recently built houses, open sewer holes, and gravel roads. The partially developed condition of the land is a result of a real estate scam. The land becomes engulfed by nearby rivers when the Moon is close to the Earth and land floods every monsoon season, signalling its soon-to-be underwater future due to Climate Change. The dispatches presented here are part of a work-in-progress project by Luong called Hole Story, a fictional narrative about the past, present, and future of the former Phong Phú commune.

Alvin Luong (梁超洪) creates artworks based on stories of human migration, land, and dialogues from the diasporic working class communities that he lives and works with. The artist is currently focused on migration and economic corridors between the South China Sea and the West. In 2019, the artist exhibited at Boers-Li Gallery (Beijing), pursued research at HB Station Contemporary Art Research Center (Guangzhou), lectured at YiZhong Art Lab (Shunde), screened at CACHE (Beijing), screened at Alice Yard (Port of Spain), and lectured at Gudskul (Jakarta). In 2021, the artist will exhibit at Modern Fuel (Kingston, CA), The New Gallery (Calgary), and VAC Clarington (CA); and lecture at The Factory (HCMC).

Dispatches from Phong Phú  is presented in the context of MOVEMENTS. As its title suggests, this online and site-specific program presents several projects by artists whose work references diverse definitions, experiences and enactments of movements. Bringing together a range of practices, MOVEMENTS reflects on both the intimate scale of the body as it shifts through time and space, within transient gestures and encounters, and organized actions that provoke vital, unsettling change.

MOVEMENTS is made possible with support from Partners in Art


Image Credit: Alvin Luong, video still from Hole Story, 2020.