Gallery TPW is delighted to announce Alvin Luong as our 2022-23 Artist-in-Residence. Alvin's research explores place and placelessness as shaped by the movement of people in times of ecological, political, and social urgencies in the context of Vietnam's past, current, and future realities. During his residency, Alvin will engage in ongoing conversations with Vietnam-based artists, family members, and local members of the East and South East Asian diasporas as part of his research.
The residency will conclude with an exhibition titled, After the Cataclysm, Before the Storm, to be presented in Toronto's Chinatown in the spring of 2023.
My work with Gallery TPW intimately reflects on what happens to people when they become placeless. For me, “place” is a collective relationship between people and a social order that exists in a particular geography. The focus of my efforts is on Vietnam where history develops a rapid cadence.
Within the period of one lifetime, Vietnam has convulsed through a divisive war for liberation from French and American occupations, the country’s post-war communist reunification, and economic liberalization in its contemporary capitalist era. In the future, Vietnam’s most populated areas, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as the regions surrounding these cities, are projected to be underwater. How people navigate placelessness from these past and upcoming upheavals is the focus of After the Cataclysm, Before the Storm.
To expand this conversation, I have also invited and commissioned the filmmaker Vicky Đỗ and dance choreographer Đoàn Thanh Toàn to contribute new artworks and cross-border dialogues to this project. The three of us are of a globalized generation born after the turmoil of Vietnam’s recent past and before the climatic troubles of an anticipated future.
Still from a video of flooding in Phong Phú, Ho Chi Minh City, on April 3, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.
About the Artist-in-Residence
Taking place throughout 2022 until the spring of 2023, the Artist-in-Residence program was created with Alvin to support his exploration into collaborative models of artistic research and presentation. The goal of the residency reflects TPW's mandate to support multiple possibilities that can emerge when experimentation, trust and collaboration are given time and space to germinate.
Alvin Luong (梁超洪) works with stories of human migration, land, and dialogues from diasporic working class communities to create artworks that reflect upon historical development and its intimate effects on the lives of people. Luong has shown and screened artworks at the Images Festival (Toronto), Boers-Li Gallery (Beijing), Gudskul (Jakarta), and The Polygon Gallery (Vancouver). The artist has held research and resident artist appointments at the Inside-Out Art Museum (Beijing), HB Station Contemporary Art Research Center (Guangzhou), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto).