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‘San Art Laboratory: Session 7’: a 6-month artist-in-residency program showcasing the brilliance of Southeast Asian contemporary art
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109 backers pledged $13,324 to help bring this project to life.

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Sàn Art Laboratory is an artist-in-residency program based in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam – an independent initiative unique to the region of South East Asia.

This campaign will empower Session 7, which has just begun with artists from Hanoi, Saigon (Vietnam) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Within half a year, these 3 artists will participate in workshops, lectures and critiques with our local creative community, working towards production of new artworks for a group exhibition in November 2015. 

‘San Art Laboratory’ was established in 2012 by San Art in response to a great lack of educational access and opportunity concerning contemporary art in Vietnam. Each year there are 2 sessions, each in 6 month duration, where 3 artists are chosen from an open call process of application across South East Asia, and assessed by an international jury. The resident artists are provided their own apartment and studio next door to Sàn Art's Reading Room and office. Sàn Art Laboratory encourages artists under 35 to move beyond their limited training, to experiment with their ideas and materials. Sàn Art Laboratory is proud of all the artists (we have 20 Alumni!), who have taken advantage of this ‘talking’ platform to push beyond their social, cultural, political and artistic limits to be global travelers with their work. To date, many of our artists possess practices that investigate alternative readings of history, evoking awareness of their local and the dilemma of its socio-political condition.

In addition to organizing an international lecture program discussing regional cultural and social histories, San Art also offers workshops on how to practically engage the administration of being a contemporary artist today – how to write artwork proposals; how to apply for grant funding; how to better present your art to interested people; and of course workshops on the methodology of artistic research and documentation.

San Art Laboratory Session 7 artists
San Art Laboratory Session 7 artists
Artist Lai Dieu Ha, San Art Laboratory Session 4, working on her artwork
Artist Lai Dieu Ha, San Art Laboratory Session 4, working on her artwork
Artist Pham Dinh Tien, San Art Laboratory Session 5, in his studio
Artist Pham Dinh Tien, San Art Laboratory Session 5, in his studio

How you can make a difference?

Your backing will give 3 incredible young artists of Session 7 the financial support to produce new artworks and a group exhibition opening 19 November 2015. Their artwork ideas and experiments provide content for ‘San Art Laboratory’ to arrange critical public programming (lectures, workshops and artist presentations) to engage our local artistic community in Saigon.

San Art Laboratory costs USD75,000 annually – a sum increasingly tough to find in a local landscape struggling to understand why ‘contemporary art’ is important. If you can enable us to exceed our Kickstarter goal of USD8500, this extra sum will be an invaluable resource to support other essential costs of the residency - such as space rental, travel and living and public program costs. The more you back this campaign, the better living and working conditions the artists and audiences can be provided!

Installation view: San Art Laboratory Session 4
Installation view: San Art Laboratory Session 4
Artist Rudy Atjeh, San Art Laboratory Session 5, in the final group critic
Artist Rudy Atjeh, San Art Laboratory Session 5, in the final group critic
Artists and San Art team in 'Come to [what] end?', San Art Laboratory Session 5 group exhibition
Artists and San Art team in 'Come to [what] end?', San Art Laboratory Session 5 group exhibition

Why is Sàn Art Laboratory so important to us?

Sàn Art Laboratory Alumni are role models in our artistic community as a result of their commitment to artistic experimentality and criticality. The final exhibition at the end of each session is not the conclusion of this artist-in-residence program. Many Alumni seek San Art expertise to further develop their projects to a more ambitious degree and have been subsequently chosen to participate in international shows and are acquired by important art collections abroad.

In Vietnam – a country with no government support for contemporary art; where contemporary art practices is not taught within universities; where space is limited for artists to exhibit their work - Sàn Art Laboratory is a particularly crucial platform to furthering awareness of the role of art and culture in society today. This initiative is about giving space, time, funds, expertise and most importantly confidence to not only participating artists but also our ever-growing creative community, to pursue artistic interests with an awareness their local should be informed by the interdisciplinary realities beyond their national borders.

The Alumni (such as Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Phan Thao Nguyen, Le Phi Long to name but a few!) remain key participants in ‘San Art Laboratory’ ongoing educational programs, helping us nurture the building of a critical cultural community in Vietnam.

What makes ‘San Art Laboratory’ so unique?

Sàn Art Laboratory focuses on the role of dialog in learning the self and the motivations behind why artists are artists today. Each participant is paired with whom we call a ‘talking partner’. This could be a senior established artist, a curator, a researcher, an architect, a historian, or an individual with similar interests and relevant expertise. The ‘talking partner’ operates as listener, challenger, discussant and consultant for the artist throughout their 6 months stay.

Artist Lai Dieu Ha, San Art Laboratory session 4, meeting guests artists and curators in her studio
Artist Lai Dieu Ha, San Art Laboratory session 4, meeting guests artists and curators in her studio
Artist Le Phi Long, San Art Laboratory Session 4, present his ideas with artist Tiffany Chung
Artist Le Phi Long, San Art Laboratory Session 4, present his ideas with artist Tiffany Chung
workshop at San Art Laboratory with Indian artist Nalini Malini, 2013
workshop at San Art Laboratory with Indian artist Nalini Malini, 2013

OUR REWARDS! 

You can also donate us any amount you want if you still don't know which rewards to back.

+ Pledge $10: special designed e-card from San Art team (The below image is of reference only)

+ Pledge $20: A limited edition printed postcard for Sàn Art Laboratory Session 7 signed by the artist – you’ll get to know about the talents you supported up-close and personal! (The below image is of reference only)

+ Pledge $50 (limited editions of 50): A photograph (10 x 15cm) by Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai – artist of San Art Laboratory Session 1, signed by the artist. This photograph, taken at dusk over a floating village on Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia, documents the artist’s year-long research on Vietnamese exiled communities in Cambodia and Vietnam; her project ‘Day by Day’ toured Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saigon and Hanoi, Vietnam. More information about artist Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai and her project can be found in her interview with Art Radar Journal http://artradarjournal.com/2015/04/03/living-day-by-day-between-cambodia-and-vietnam-nguyen-thi-thanh-mai-interview/

+ Pledge $70 (limited of 50): A Linocut print on silk (15x14cm) 'From elsewhere to somewhere' by artist Nguyen Huu Tram Kha – San Art Laboratory Session 2 Alumni. This work furthers Tram Kha’s experimentation of printmaking on different materials, shapes and forms, which were shown in FITE (France) and Sàn Art Productions x PHUONG MY in Saigon, Vietnam.

+ Pledge $100 (limited of 30): two prints on bamboo paper (29x21cm) from “Happiness to everybody” series by artist Tran Minh Duc aka. Duc Flyingbay. Taking tourist merchandise and advertisement banners as found object, Duc Flyingbay intervenes via carefully crafted photographic collage and verbal pun, questioning the role of media in hiding histories of critical impact on Vietnamese society’s relationship to their culture, environment and spiritual beliefs. (please note, images below are example of 10 prints available in this series - you will receive 2 with your $100 pledge!)

+ Pledge $200 (limited of 20): An original ink drawing on paper (17x21 cm) by artist Truong Cong Tung – San Art Laboratory Session 1 Alumni. A continuation of ‘Three-staged reality’ project since 2013, this figuratively gestural work layers the unconditional belief of spirits and traditional healing powers on Giay-khen, a printed template of commendation for pupils in Vietnam. Though parts of the project has exhibited widely (ie at Sàn Art in Vietnam, at Kunstverein Goettingen in Germany, at Koganecho Bazaar in Japan, and at Seoul Media City Biennale in Korea) this body of work has never been seen in public. Seize one for you before all goes away!! (please note, images below are example of 20 original drawings available in this series - you will receive 1 with your $200 pledge!)

+ Pledge $350 (limited of 5): A graphene on paper painting (21x29.7 cm) of series 'Supermaterial' by artist Ngoc Nau – San Art Laboratory Session 3 Alumni. Influenced by the palpable energy produced from her hometown – a coal mining town in north Vietnam - Ngoc Nau transforms this black substance into aesthetic shapes to investigate the idea of carbon as a material, an exploited source of energy, a concept, and a form of enlightenment (please note, images below are example of 5 paintings available - you will receive 1 with your $350 pledge!)

+ Pledge $500 (unique): A painting on do paper (40x60cm) titled 'Connection among the disorder' by artist Bui Cong Khanh – Talking Partner for San Art Laboratory session 2.

‘What I care most about is the present life I live. I don’t want to be a sponge for the past; I don’t want to use the past in order to preserve the ‘national cultural character’. The past and its tradition have their rightful position in society and its nature stands with the time in which it was given birth. For me, I am looking for the character of the present – the life that I am driving. No matter how messy, complicated, and hard it is, that life will still one day be remembered twenty or so years later. What I want is to visualize the present as simply as possible; like when we close our eyes and we can hear the noise on the streets. I paint life calmly like writing a diary.’ (Artist statement, Bui Cong Khanh, 2010).

Support us, and entitle yourself to this page of Bui Cong Khanh’s diary, a painting of harmonic chaos on “do”, the traditional paper of Vietnam on which folk artists depicted peaceful rural lives or old festivals. Bui Cong Khanh’s art has been previously showcased in Singapore, USA, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar amongst others.

+ Pledge $750 (limited of 2): you'll receive not one, but TWO gifts!

1) A collage on aluminum (22x50 cm) with stand made from motorbike's frame, by artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen – Co-founder of Sàn Art, Co-founder of ‘The Propeller Group’ and San Art Laboratory Session 5 & 6 talking partner (note: the collage will be chosen randomly between the two). The mini ‘paintings’ uses sticker decals often applied by young Vietnamese motorbike racers and enthusiasts to decorate and customize their wheels. These glossy, sparkling, colorful shapes, take on the resemblance of smoke, sparks, and whizz-bang graphics similar to comic book renditions of a crash. ‘The Propeller Group’ are featured in the current Venice Biennale; with previous showcase at Prospect New Orleans (2014); Solomon R Guggenheim (2013); SFMoMA (2012) amongst many others.

2) Two vouchers for the acclaimed Sophie's Art Tour in Ho Chi Minh city. Sophie’s Art Tour is based on the personal experiences of artists who studied, fought, witnessed and documented major changes in twentieth century Vietnam. It has been featured on CNN, The Guardian, The Independent, and more for being a not-to-miss for art lovers and for all those who want to gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s modern and contemporary history.

Images from Sophie's Art Tour
Images from Sophie's Art Tour

+ Pledge $1000 (limited of 4): Private dinner with artist Dinh Q.Le at his home in Saigon. Dinh Q. Le is Vietnam’s most established contemporary artist, indeed one of the most celebrated in South East Asia; Co-founder and Chairman of Sàn Art; and San Art Laboratory Session 4 talking partner. This is a rare chance to converse with an artist whose history of movement between Vietnam and the US, Algeria, Peru, Cambodia, Japan, Korea and much more is artistically driven by a thirst to better understand his country’s traumatic consciousness. Le’s practice has been previously showcased at the Venice Biennale (2003); dOCUMENTA13 (2012); Carnegie International (2013); MoMA, NY (2010); Singapore Art Museum (2008); and soon will be at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo from July to October 2015, to name but a brief few. The image below is of reference only).

The dinner does not include flight ticket and accommodation.

Dinh Q. Le's house
Dinh Q. Le's house

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***HOT REWARD: We have just added new reward for the Pledge $300 (unique): You will receive a unique combination of 2 gifts:

1) Private dinner with 3 fantastic Laboratory Session 7 artists Vo Tran Chau, Ratu Saras & Nguyen Thuy Tien. They will share with you how their intriguing research and artworks about emotion, intimacy, memory, ethics, history and fate.

2) An artist book (limited edition) by Art Labor collective, whose members are 2 Lab Alumni Phan Thao Nguyen & Truong Cong Tung and the other one is Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran - a writer / curator and also Assistant Curator of Sàn Art. Art Labor's artworks have been featured in Germany, Korea, and soon they will be one of NTU - CCA Singapore's resident artists.

Lab 7 artists & Nau (Lab Alumni and current Sàn Art Laboratory Manager)
Lab 7 artists & Nau (Lab Alumni and current Sàn Art Laboratory Manager)
Art Labor's artist book
Art Labor's artist book

Thank you!

www.san-art.org

Risks and challenges

San Art Laboratory Session 7 is already in progress. We sincerely hope that Kickstarter is successful because if not, these artists will not be able to realize the exhibition at their utmost expectation, and the scale of their artworks and exhibition design will be much diminished.

The backers may need to cover insurance and import tax (if any).

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Your name is on our hearts now, we'll send you A SPECIALLY DESIGNED E-CARD so you remember us too!

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    The artists would like to send you A LIMITED EDITION PRINTED POSTCARD WITH THEIR SIGNATURE!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    A PHOTOGRAPH (10 x 12cm) FROM 'DAY BY DAY' PROJECT by artist Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, San Art Laboratory Session 1, signed by the artist

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    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    A LINOCUT PRINT ON SILK TITLED 'FROM ELSEWHERE FROM SOMEWHERE' (15x14cm) by artist Nguyen Huu Tram Kha, San Art Laboratory Session 2

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    TWO PRINTS ON BAMBOO PAPER (29 x 21cm) IN 'HAPPINESS TO EVERYBODY' SERIES by artist Tran Minh Duc aka. Duc Flyingbay, ex-Manager of the Laboratory and now San Art International Liasion Officer.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    AN INK DRAWING ON PAPER (17 x 21cm) IN 'PAINTING AMULETS' SERIES by artist Truong Cong Tung, San Art Laboratory Session 1.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    PRIVATE DINNER WITH 3 LAB 7 ARTISTS Vo Tran Chau, Ratu Saras & Nguyen Thuy Tien. Plus AN ARTIST BOOK (in limited edition) by Art Labor collective whose members were 2 Lab Alumni

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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    A GRAPHENE PAINTING (21 x 29.7cm) IN 'SUPERMATERIAL' SERIES by artist Ngoc Nau, San Art Laboratory Session 3 and now Lab Manager

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    A PAINTING ON DO PAPER TITLED 'CONNECTION AMONGST THE SERIES OF DISORDER' (40 x 60cm) by artist Bui Cong Khanh, Talking Partner for San Art Laboratory Session 2

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    A COLLAGE ON ALUMINIUM (22x50cm) by artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen, San Art Co-Founder and member of The Propeller Group. Plus TWO VOUCHERS FOR THE ACCLAIMED SOPHIE'S ART TOUR IN HO CHI MINH CITY.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    PRIVATE DINNER WITH ARTIST DINH Q LE, Chairman of Sàn Art in Saigon - a home-cooked meal by his aunt from Ha Tien. Dinner time is negotiable between you and Dinh Q. Le

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Funding period

- (35 days)