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A Motorbike Sunbathes on a Patch of Plastic Turf
August 24, 2018 - September 3, 2018
Opening Reception: August 24, 6-10pm
Exhibition Dates: August 24—September 3, 2018
Gallery Hours: Tuesday—Sunday, 12—6pm
A Motorbike Sunbathes on a Patch of Plastic Turf is a series of videos, installations and sculptures by Berlin-based Tra My Nguyen and London-based Annie Mackinnon. Drawing upon family and the artists’ Vietnamese and Chinese backgrounds, the works focus upon identifying connections, disconnections and nostalgia surrounding commodities within the tangling nexus of hyper-consumption.
Tra My Nguyen’s work examines motorbike culture in Vietnam, examining it from both a Western and local standpoint. Stemming from childhood memories riding in Vietnam, to her mother selling her motorbike to move to Germany, the motorbike becomes symbolic of freedom to many locals. This is in contrast to Western tourist’s fascination and fetishisation, where the image of an overstocked Vietnamese Motorbike is perceived almost as novelty.
Annie Mackinnon explores the idea of lying products and marketing lies: promises of reconnecting with nature through purchasing North Face Jackets. Through repurposing discarded outdoors gear into products which ‘connect you with nature’, the videos and installations slip between nature documentary and interactions with quasi functional designed objects. Interview scenes with her Mother who grew up with nine siblings in rural China, explore the transformation from having no conceptualisation of ‘nature’ beyond basic survival, to an increasingly materialistic shift, where her Grandma now parades diamanté jackets in fashion shows in her old people’s home.