Born in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nguyen Trinh Thi is a Hanoi-based artist and filmmaker. She studied journalism and photography at the University of Iowa; and international relations and ethnographic film at the University of California, San Diego. Her documentary and experimental films have been screened at festivals and exhibitions nationally and internationally. Nguyen is the founding director of Hanoi DocLab (2009), a center for documentary filmmaking and video art in Hanoi, where she continues to teach today.
Known for her layered, personal and poetic approach to contentious histories and current events through experimentations with the moving image, Nguyen Trinh Thi is a pioneer not only within the landscape of contemporary art in Vietnam, but also broader South East Asia. With the essay film, her signature method of narrative, she investigates the perception, and explores the function of memory, in particular, the présence of absence, through crafting alternative historical tales of memory.
POSTED on 2013
Landscape Series #1
“I am interested in the idea of landscapes as quiet witnesses to history. During my online search for such photos, I came upon hundreds of images in which anonymous persons were portrayed in landscapes – and always in the same position, pointing to indicate a past event, the location of something gone, something lost or missing. We are left knowing nothing about the people, their specific thoughts or feelings, only with their repetitious sameness – always indicating, pointing to ‘evidence’ of something – never good. Together these anonymous witnesses, portrayed in compelling uniformity by innumerable Vietnamese press photographers, seem to be indicating a direction, a way forward out of the past, a fictional journey.”
Trinh Thi Nguyen