PROJECT SPACE SPARE ROOM / 10 to 27 May 2010
Hoang Duong Cam is a guest of RMIT University through the School of Art International Artist in Residence Program - SITUATE.
The Artist in Residence Program in the School of Art at RMIT University began in 2005 with overseas artists undertaking residencies at the Melbourne campus. In 2010 the School of Art is commencing a new feature to this program by hosting an annual residency for Vietnamese artists. Hoang Duong Cam was invited by the School of Art as an inaugural Artist in Residence for a residency 'by distance' to exhibit his project Representation in the meaning of a metaphor for a forest as endoscopy / links between locations in Melbourne. Hoang Duong Cam was born in Hanoi in 1974 and having graduated from the Hanoi Fine Arts University in 1996, now lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.
In Representation in the meaning of a metaphor for a forest as endoscopy / links between locations Hoang Duong Cam digitally manipulates and constructs images that suggest metaphoric spaces evoking mazes or psychological 'forests'. Through the use of density and detail he evokes a psychological layering, suggesting the 'noises' of the urban environments that surround our inner consciousness. Within these densely layered worlds he inserts a small and seemingly insignificant image of his body, apparently ingrained and almost hidden, to suggest ideas that relate to our notions of 'self' embedded within our societal structure. Through digital mimicry evocating single photographs of vast and expansive urban sites, Hoang Duong Cam creates what ostensibly appear to be accurate and detailed records of locations and past events. He defines a world where one's ego, one's inner sense of 'self' has been lost or forgotten, or alternatively a world where, in amongst our urban layering, singular moments occur where we re-encounter or re-discover our souls.
Hoang Duong Cam's digital works suggest a type of diagnostic searching for self, a process of looking, not unlike the journey of an endoscope, searching through a layered 'map' where what appears to be photographic record is construction, and where our 'inner world' is projected to the outside world. Across several of these imagined geographical locations Hoang Duong Cam defines a sense of constancy, a world where the idea of 'self' may have lapsed, but where it is still held within the centre.
Each of the works in this series of complex spatial inventions are based on hundreds of small photographs painstakingly 'threaded' together digitally to portray the complexity of our constructed reality and its relationship to ideas of what individual consciousness may be. Hoang Duong Cam's figure is an every person, a small and insignificant identity entwined in the many 'petits récits' of one's individual experience. However he also places emphasis on both space and time, and visually remarks on the nature of scale in the world in order to amplify our awareness of oppositions, and to discriminate between the habitual process of automatic seeing as opposed to perceiving. In this Hoang Duong Cam seemingly evokes associations with meta-narratives, with continuums, in turn attempting to dismiss the existing chaos and disorder of the universe.
Hoang Duong Cam's works are related to the idea that truth is relative to understanding, which means that there is no absolute or objective truth about the world. However, while Representation in the meaning of a metaphor for a forest as endoscopy / links between locations does imply a distressed human condition, an alienating existence, Hoang Duong Cam positions our understanding of the human experience as centrally embodied in conceptions of the soul.
"Neither am I anyone; I dreamt the world as you dreamt your work ... and among the forms in my dream are you, who like myself are many and no one." 1
Coordinator of the Artist in Residence Program in the School of Art at RMIT University. Peter is an artist, writer and curator based in Melbourne.
1. Borges, J. L., Everything and Nothing, (translated by James E. Irby), 'Labyrinths', Penguin Books, USA, 1972
The RMIT School of Art SITUATE Program acknowledges the RMIT Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner, Pro Vice Chancellor of the College of Design and Social Context, Professor Colin Fudge, and Head of the School of Art, Professor Elizabeth Grierson, for their support in fostering the development and continuing success of a critical, relevant and globally focused context for the development and presentation of contemporary art.
The School of Art community would also like to express gratitude to the artist Hoang Duong Cam for agreeing to undertake this project. The School of Art community would also like to acknowledge the support and assistance of Quynh Pham of Galerie Quynh in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Hoang Duong Cam is represented by Galerie Quynh.