10:00 – 18:00, 27/8 – 29/8

Mở cửa xưởng // Opening hours

16:00 – 18:00, 27/8 – 29/8 

Giờ sung sướng cùng // Happy hours with Cù Rú

15:00 – 18:00, 27/8 

Nước mát cùng  // Cooling water with Kai Nguyễn


3năm studio (District 2, HCMC): Please send us a message via Á Space or 3năm studio’s Facebook and Instagram to get the detailed directions.

Linh Lê would like to thank 3năm studio, Cù Rú, Ngô Đình Bảo Châu, Hoài and Rab for being a part of this event with no hesitation, and Vân Đơ for her support and encouragement. She is also tremendously thankful for the drunken and heated (but civil) debate with Bill Nguyễn and Vân Đơ on the topic of the next generation of artists in Saigon back in July, which prompted her to organise this event. 

Á would like to thank Linh Lê for her rare determination and excellent situation handling, 3năm studio for welcoming us into our home with much enthusiasm (especially Liên, Đạt and Kai) despite their moving house, Đỗ Hà Hoài and Rab for bravely accepting this invitation and Ngo Đình Bảo Châu and Cù Rú for the immortal spirit of the Saigonese.

Do Ha Hoai (b.1994, Gia Lai) is a sculptor based in Ho Chi Minh City. Since his graduation from the HCMC University of Fine Arts in 2018, Hoai has inexhaustibly experimented with form and materials in his sculptural work. Until now, he is known for two series ‘Bread-Rose’ and ‘Allergy’, which was inspired by his allergy to banh mi. Through the depiction of human bodies that are experiencing allergic reactions at different levels, Hoai delves into the psychophysiology of the society, and its effects on him, both positive and negative.

Rab (b. 2000, HCMC) is a multimedia artist based in Saigon, Vietnam. Her practice focuses on the relationship, memory and sacredness that exist in the mind and its surroundings. She has a tendency to gravitate towards primal experience in order to excavate the intimacy in natural materials in mankind’s spiritual life. 

From early on in her career, Ngo Dinh Bao Chau has worked with a wide range of materials, from sedge mats, steel, and concrete, to trúc chỉ – paper made from the purées of bamboo, corn and duckweed. Her practice examines contemporary life in Vietnam; she repurposes objects and images in order to challenge the dualisms and tensions that exist in society. In her most recent work, Ngo Dinh Bao Chau appropriates the symbols which are part of a collective, cultural memory, and places them in an imagined homespace. Through her multimedia installations, the artist comments on the power of repetition, and explores the indistinction between public and private space.

Kai Nguyễn (b. 1998, Tra Vinh) is a multimedia artist based in Ho Chi Minh City. Their practice focuses on the poetry of (moving) images, space and plants. Kai’s works are featured on AAWW, AJAR Press, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Matca, and soon be published on Van +. In 2022, Kai co-founded 3năm Studio, where artists share their process and host community events. From 2019 to 2022, Kai initiated Invisible Space, a community for local young artists. During COVID-19 lockdowns, they created a collective diary called “Ghost of time gone by” as part of a 10-week online workshop series.

Since June, 2019 Cù Rú has been based in Dalat. Our goal, with the space of 700 square metres that consists of a bar, library, garden, kitchen and workspace, is to expand our opportunities for collaboration between artists and local farmers, engineers, botanists, nature preservationists…etc.Due to the advantages of Da Lat’s rich and complex history, culture, ethnology, economy, agroforestry, artists, researchers, curators can find inspiration and source for their works. Cù Rú now hosts an open residency and exchange program that welcomes all artists, curators, researchers.

Linh Lê is an independent curator and researcher from Ho Chi Minh City. Her work explores the (im)possibilities of the archive and other alternatives. With the local community at the centre of her work, Linh also expands her curatorial purview to publishing, discussion, workshop and teaching. Some of her past curatorial projects include ‘Chợt Mộng Tan’ (2022, Á Space); ‘Dept. Of Speculation’ (2022, Galerie Quynh); ‘All Aboard’ (2023, Galerie Quynh) and ’Soon The Time Will Come’ (2023, Á Space). 

Á is very delighted to introduce our first venture to Saigon realized with our long-time collaborator Linh Lê and a newly-found friend 3Năm Studio, titled ‘The Unknown, Choreographed’, featuring Đỗ Hà Hoài, Rab, Ngô Đình Bảo Châu, Kai Nguyễn and Cù Rú Bar.

“‘The Unknown, Choreographed’ assembles an odd mix of new artistic experiments and playful experiences made possible mainly thanks to randomness. Though the entire event hinges on the premise of chance encounters, each of its elements demonstrates an intentional and laborious thought process.

Since 2018, the young, prolific sculptor Đỗ Hà Hoài has been tirelessly experimenting with the theme ‘allergy’ in different materials, scales, and forms as a way to capture the visceral and raw reactions to overwhelming changes in life. A continuation of his ‘Allergy’ series, Hoài attempts to draft the map for the future of 3năm studio — or of what would become of it when the tenants move out, soon. His prophecy comes in the shape of human body parts that turn, breathe, twist, scream, and idle, wrapping the lush garden in their last embrace.

Rab tells a story about the mythical origin of the human species, which is grounded on the trope of God being a craftsman and us their creations. In the open-endedness of her fictional museum, Rab walks us through the process of human-making, which like any other type of production requires countless trials and errors.

Despite not fitting into the category of emerging artists (for she has exhibited widely, both locally and internationally), a revisit of Ngô Đình Bảo Châu’s 2015 video work entitled ‘An example of a battle’ is necessary. A chess game where its pieces are replaced by unpainted plaster statuettes of cute, cartoonish animals. Winning or losing is meaningless and impossible, but the startling pangs in the heart are what prevail.

As an event to celebrate new faces in the Saigon art scene, ‘The Unknown, Choreographed’ is also the last event that 3năm studio hosts in this location. To remember this milestone, Kai Nguyễn — a photographer, a member of the collective, as well as a plant enthusiast — seeks to start a conversation on cogon grass and its relation to the changing landscape of urbanised Saigon through traditional cooling herbal drink. From Dalat to Saigon, Cù Rú bar will surely help make our last memories in this place happy ones with cocktails inspired by this occasion.

“All men by nature want to know” was how Aristotle began the first chapter of ‘Metaphysics’. That sentence, while leading readers to a maze of philosophical ideas that they might never understand in their lifetime (the author of this text is one of them), adeptly conveys human nature: to know and therefore to control. What does letting go of control mean? Despite our constant effort to keep things in order, slippages still happen or in Vietnam, we say “God calculates better than humans do”. ‘The Unknown, Choreographed’ attempts to see what will entail if God and humans join forces in the calculation.”

— Linh Lê, curator.