Vong Phaonphanit and Claire Oboussier

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MACA Contemporaries

Sotheby's Institute of Art
30 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3EE
20th February 2020


Controversies surrounding the 1993 Turner Prize largely concerned the state of contemporary art in 1990s Britain, but public comments by critic Brian Sewell about Laos-born nominee Vong Phaophanit’s eligibility for the prize targeted the artist’s ethnicity. Such race-based assumptions, predicated on the artist’s ethno-nationality and the perceived significations of such works as Neon Rice Field (1993), are both provoked and stymied by Phaophanit’s work and his collaborations with Claire Oboussier. The role of text, voice, materials, site and silence in works such as Neon Rice Field and All that’s solid melts into air (Karl Marx) (2005-2006) navigate the audibilities and sonic materialities of visual form, the affects of linguistic representation, and the aesthetics of vocalization. A deeper consideration of Phaophanit’s practice and his collaborations undertaken with Oboussier reveals a deliberate and poetic obfuscation of these identificatory processes within the artwork, particularly through the artists’ blurring of the boundaries of visual and sonic images at the very level of perception. I suggest that these strategies similarly parallel an attempt to confound the politics of identification pervasive in late twentieth-century British art criticism and historiography in the wake of the Black Arts Movement.

Pamela N. Corey is an historian of modern and contemporary art, with area expertise in Southeast Asia and Asia more broadly. She received her BA (Studio Art) from the University of California, Irvine, and her PhD (History of Art and Visual Studies) from Cornell University, after which she took up post as Lecturer in South East Asian Art at SOAS. Her current book project examines the relationship between contemporary art and urban form in the late and post-Socialist periods in Vietnam and Cambodia. Her writings appear in Art Journal, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Journal of Modern Craft, Udaya, Journal of Khmer Studies, as well as in numerous exhibition catalogues and platforms for art criticism. She is co-editing with Wenny Teo (Courtauld) a special issue of Oxford Art Journal on voice as form, to appear in August 2020.





Counter Acts

Lethaby Gallery
Central Saint Martins, London
29th November 2019 - 22nd January 2020


All that's solid melts into air (Karl Marx) 2006, is showing as part of Counter Acts at the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, London.

Counter Acts highlights the long running relationship University of the Arts London shares with the Turner Prize, exploring work by generations of artists who studied or taught at UAL and their connection to the Prize.

Since its inception in 1984, the Turner Prize has provoked public conversation around the value of art with many of the nominees and half of the winners having studied or taught at the University.

This exhibition traces the ideas and artworks that have challenged perceptions of contemporary art. Drawing on incomplete histories, Counter Acts features artists offering critical perspectives from different generations, educational systems and cultural backgrounds. Exploring the function of art practice as a counter-action to dominant social, political and aesthetic structures, Counter Acts includes work by:

Assemble, Helen Chadwick, Cathy de Monchaux, Richard Deacon, Jeremy Deller, Penny Goring, Antony Gormley, Madelynn Mae Green, Mona Hatoum, Lubaina Himid, Isaac Julien, Goshka Macuga, Alix Marie, Jimmy Merris, Chris Ofili, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Vong Phaophanit, Ingrid Pollard, Laure Prouvost, James Richards, Yinka Shonibare, Mike Taiwo, Anne Tallentire, work-seth/tallentire, Nicola Tyson, Mark Wallinger, Gillian Wearing and Bill Woodrow.

Counter Acts is a fringe event during Margate Now, an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances held in Margate and beyond to celebrate the Prize coming to Turner Contemporary.



Singapore Biennale 2019

National Gallery Singapore

1 St Andrew's Rd
22nd November 2019 - 22nd March 2020


Continuing their interest from a decade ago, Phaophanit and Oboussier present Never real historians, always near poets, a newly commissioned video projection installation for the Biennale. The project is an exploration of memory and identity and expands from the personal to the collective. The work centres on the different decisions made by members of Phaophanit’s family following a regime change in Laos in 1975; some of them fled to France while others remained in Laos. The artists filmed their footage and interviews in Sawannakhet in Laos and in St. Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. Not only do they retrace the connection between older family members who have not met in decades, they also encapsulate the landscape and soundscape of their distinct inhabitancies. Using a dual-channel video projection to draw connections and create dialogue, the artists employ their intuitive practice to create a visual poem. The work explores the meaning of ‘home,’ ‘nationality’ and ‘ethnicity’ as well as what it means to create an identity as a citizen in a globalised world.

- Vipash Purichanont, Curator


Editor & Composer - Savanh Phaophanit

Narrator - Reman Sadani

Voice Capture - Kathryn MacCorgarry Gray

Special thanks to our facilitators & guides - Pae, Sack & Chanthila


Framer Framed

IJpromenade 2
1031 KT, Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Opening: Saturday 15 September, 17:00
Symposium: Sunday 16 September, 12:00 – 16:45

Curator: Annie Jael Kwan
Artists: Korakrit Arunanondchai, Noel Ed De Leon, Ho Rui An, Vong Phaophanit & Claire Oboussier, Amy Lee Sanford, Sim Chi Yin, Erika Tan, Sung Tieu, Tuan Mami, Vandy Rattana, Boedi Widjaja, Sau Bin Yap

The Call Of Things 2018

Competition winners for Fen Court Public Art Commission, 10 Fenchurch Ave. London. 14m x 13m Ultra 4K LED Video work with Soundscape. In collaboration with Eric Parry Architects. Commissioned By Assicurazioni Generali Group.

Free entry

2018 Asia Project: How Little You Know About Me

The National Museum of Modern and Contmeporary Art, Korea (MMCA) presents 'How Little You Know About Me', the first in MMCA's 2018-19 exhibition series revolving around the keyword 'Asia'.

Public Lecture and Film Screening at Silpakorn University - March 2018

Talk and film screening of 'All that's solid melts into air (Karl Marx)' followed by crit sessions with MA and BA students. 
Silpakorn University, Nakornpathom Province, Bangkok.

Thailand Biennale 2018

The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC), Ministry of Culture in Bangkok, is organising the First Thailand Biennale which will launch in November 2018. The Biennale, themed 'Edge Of The Wonderland', will be staged outdoors across a range of natural sites in Krabi, Thailand.

Vong and Claire have been invited to paticipate in the biennale and will be comissioned to produce a new site-specific work that responds to both the theme, the environment and the natural landscape.


Public Lecture and Film Screening

SOAS - University Of London - Wednesday 29th November 2017
Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, Senate House


Dream House

Dream House was inaugurated in June 2017.
Toronto, Canada.


Art Monthly - The Missing Issue

'What takes place without taking place' was commissioned for 'Art Monthly The Missing Issue 1978-2017'

download the missing issue:



Mekong - New Mythologies Exhibition

At the Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre


In Other Words

Vong and Claire have been selected to create In Other Words, a site responsive artwork in collaboration with Eric Parry Architects for their new Cambridge Assessments HQ Building. Cambridge University, UK.



Exhibition: 2nd May – 26th June 2015

Claire and Vong exhibited it is as if at Block 336 Gallery in Brixton, London. Launched 1st May 2015 this is a new video installation work conceived in collaboration with Wellcome Trust fellow Professor Roger Kneebone of Imperial College London. Supported by The Wellcome Trust.




Dream House

Dream House has recently been installed in downtown Toronto. Feb 2015.

Watch the installation video:

Sarah Keenlyside (Inkblot Media)

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