IT’S JUST MOSQUITOES!
Featuring works by Trương Công Tùng, Phương-Linh Hoàng Lê, VTV2, Chaindrite, Kênh Thiếu Nhi – BH Media
Despite having a smaller body and brain size compared to other animals, insects have always been considered a threat to the lives of other inhabitants, including humans. They became a fear that is named — entomophobia or the feeling of insecurity one sees or thinks about. People are always inventing new technologies to kill or avoid insects. Many types of insects are also used as metaphors, most of which have negative and pejorative connotations such as mosquitoes – trifles, flies – bullshit, or bees, butterflies – playboys, flirting with women.
IT’S JUST MOSQUITOES! series was a crude attempt to recreate a time in a TV show’s schedule when the plot revolved around insects.
Trương Công Tùng, Dance of the insects (2020) | 15:19
Once upon a time, but that time wasn’t too far away that humans can’t remember. That time, all the species on the earth including humans, animals, plants,… can interchange their bodies and languages with each other. Sometimes they are humans, sometimes humans become plants, insects and vice versa. There are no differences – every species speaks the same language.
In Dance of the insects the camera follows a swarm of insects clinging to the background of a TV broadcasting the evening news program. We can see that there is a gathering where characters are getting on top or pushing out each other, deformed presences appearing with translucent sceneries. Everything is vague, strange, and even conflicting but among them, there are connections.
VTV2, The changes of insects – Animal World Vietnam (2020) | 20:00
Four hundred million years of existence on earth is the amount of time insects have fought to survive. They have adapted well to every scenario to be crowned the supreme of numbers in the animal kingdom today.
Lê Hoàng Phương Linh, Madam Mosquito | 3:57
Madam Mosquito explores the Asian women figure and the political birth of cultural and societal phenomenon – yellow fever. The work disguises as a scientific report when the reader imitates the way of talking of David Attenborough – the famous British naturalist, with the content integrated from the opera Madama Butterfly, and the introduction about SkitoSnack – a type of fake blood for mosquitoes in labs. Throughout the video, there is a performer trying to build a house out of erotic playing cards full of Asian models.
Series Chaindrite commercials | 10:00
The peaceful life of the Thai mother-daughter is often threatened by the appearance of bad guys. Faced with imminent dangers, the mother and daughter are not scared but calmly confront the enemies. Lady luck smiles on the mother and daughter when they possess destructive weapons while the enemies underestimate them.
Kid’s channel – BH Media, Tale of the mosquito (2020) | 72:00
The mosquito is actually a fame-and-wealth loving woman but forgets her husband who loved her and saved her life. The mosquito’s cry “o o” is the cry of regret, bitterness and resentment. People remorselessly swat the mosquitoes dead when they get close because it is the only end for ungrateful and unfaithful people. Only female mosquitoes suck blood.
Born in 1986, Trương Công Tùng grew up in Đắk Lắk among various ethnic groups in the Central Highlands – Tây Nguyên, Vietnam. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Lacquer at the Ho Chi Minh University of Fine Arts in 2010. With research interests in science, cosmology and philosophy, Tùng works with a range of media, including video, painting, installation of found objects, which reflect personal contemplations on the cultural and geopolitical shifts of modernization, as embodied in the morphing ecology, belief or mythology of a land. He is also a member of Art Labor (founded in 2012), a collective working between visual arts and natural and social sciences to produce alternative non-formal knowledge via artistic and cultural activities in various public contexts and locales.
VTV2 is an educational television channel from Vietnam Television that has been broadcasted 24/7 since 2012. VTV2’s television programs focus on providing scientific and educational information under a traditional format as well as updating national and international sport news.
Currently living and working in Paris (France), Phương-Linh Hoàng Lê is a contemporary artist exploring the bordering space between truth and fiction. Her works act as a catalyst to question and negotiate identities in cultures, races, sexes, cyberspace and East and West’s philosophies.
Chaindrite is a famous Thai brand of insect repellent. In 2018, this brand launched an advertising campaign for the product line with improved formula and won many advertising awards. Chandrite fulfills its community responsibilities through raising awareness about the dengue fever in Thai cities.
Kid’s channel – BH Media is a Youtube account with scientific and educational contents for children.
Linh Lê is a curator, writer and researcher currently based in Sài Gòn. Her work taps into the performativity of archives, space, and the body in artistic practice. In 2020, she was selected for a curator exchange between Vietnam and Sydney – a programme by 4A Center with support from the Australian Council. Some of her previous projects include Măng Ta journal and the CáRô arts education programme. She holds a BA (Honours) in Arts Management from Essex University and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore).