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40 Under 40 Asia Pacific 2022

Thao Nguyen Phan

22 September 2022

Ho Chi Minh City

With paintings, light sculptures, projections and films, Thao Nguyen Phan offers dream-like meditations on the turbulent modern history of Vietnam. At the source of her recent work is what she calls the ‘beauty and suffering’ of the Mekong River, which flows through South East Asia; works such as Becoming Alluvium (2019–ongoing) and First Rain, Brise Soleil (2021), both included in a major survey at Tate St Ives this year, consider the increasingly precarious ecology of the river and look to indigenous knowledge, myth and folklore as means for understanding and renewal. Further solo exhibitions for Nguyen Phan have been held at Chisenhale Gallery in London, WIELS in Brussels (both 2020) and the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City (2017), among other locations, while her work was included in ‘The Milk of Dreams’ at the Venice Biennale this year. She was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award in 2019, and in 2018 she was the winner of the Han Nefkens Foundation-LOOP Barcelona Video Art Production Award.

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