This blog tries to echo and reveal the very process of creation of a work in son ta lacquer… layer-by-layer and in intimate relation to context. Rather than a “artist’s statement”, it is a network of connections relating different areas and fields of knowledge, interspersed with historical anecdotes, references to critical theory, physical and connotative descriptions of the medium, methodologies of artistic research, personal work, and more poetic musings that work together to assemble new relations of meaning around son ta lacquer. Instead of a chronological essay, it is a place organized by tags, relations between items and thoughts, a web without hierarchy, a humble hypertext to help allude to giving this medium a more complex reading of its own history that defies easy categorization. In my work, I focus on Vietnamese Son Ta, but to me it is but a metaphoric and interpretative lens through which to analyze and compare changes in society, ideology, memory, territory, identity, and globalization in our times. Working from a transcultural perspective, I attempt to construct new links between art history, politics, memory, the circumstances regarding my own personal history and current modes of production.
Also, the driving impulse for this writing is to construct another line of thought that breaks with the conventional understanding about this medium, placing it in community with other cultural landmarks in order to engender a fertile ground for interpretation and creation. I am interested in the potential use of Vietnamese lacquer through contemporary arts as a field that incites and embraces hybridization of materials and innovative formats and the creation of multiple meanings.