Wednesday 8 April 2009

Tran Huynh Trieu An: People are shredded

DEP MAGAZINE – Issued on 19/12/2008 - *Posted by Codet – Photography by Xuan Hai

I prefer my real face

"Reflection - Image" is a performance work contains lots of emotion and contributions from Trieu An herself and her workmates. Trieu An is studying on face and its emotional transition from the reality to the unreality. This is a long-term art project which she wants to work on the PhD program in Fine Arts.

This project is still being researched and developed in a series of art exhibitions and performances in the UK, Vietnam and other countries. Trieu An used plate glass mirror; poems by writer Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc, plus inspiration from works by writer Doan Minh Phuong to perform her “Reflection - Image” work.

Interviewer (Int.): People always love to be beautiful, especially a girl. What are your feelings when you transform your face to be another person’s face?

Tran Huynh Trieu An (TA.): The conversion face becomes ugly and ghostly is an interaction method of the show. This does not relate to a fact that girls want to be beautiful or horrible. I am a performer. I am doing performing arts. I care of wearing suitable clothes and applying an appropriated make-up for my performance works rather than for my own beauty.

Int.: Did it bring significant effects to audiences?

TA.: Sure, it did. The way I make people feel their fears is also a performing method. This piece is talking about an exchange and psychological struggle inside one individual, one human. The interaction between the reflection (in mirror) and image (in real) is the variation between the real and the virtual. Once you have to face yourself, you always panic by being touched to your own darkness corners of mind, being discovered what you want to hide from the others.

Int.: Action and status before and after make-up gives you the feeling of what?

TA.: I often look at myself in mirror and make-up every day. I recognize the difference of real - face and mask - face. When having a make – up, I feel I am a beautiful lady. I also feel ghostly in my performing transmission somehow.

Each behavior, dynamic has its own demand and purpose. I like my real face when it has no make – up or color powers. More than ever, the bare face tells much about me than my performing characters that I perform under the make-up layers.

Int.: Have you ever thought if one day, a horrible incidence happens that the transmission face becomes yours? And your life will change when you aware of carrying a mask? Mask and real face become one?

TA.: That is what I presented in "Reflection - Image." People live with many masks (or transmission layers). When you dress up and make - up to appear before people, it is the public face. When you clean up, change your clothes and return to your relatives, it is the family face. You change your face (or your outfit) daily, hourly, monthly, yearly without aware of the changes.

It is hardly to say who I will look like if the transmission face becomes my real because I still aware of the changes. I am trying to keep the present stays. Anyway, it is obviously horrible if the real transform to be unreal, same as the good turn bad. I hope that would not happen to me.

Int.: What makes you think “Fate is debris, as mirrors are broken endlessly in the night "? Why is not the other? For example: Fate is what makes yourself?

TA.: Individual account, as you call yourself, it is gathering the pieces. You make your own parts from what? Do they make from beauty, talent, education, etc? If you freeze all those concepts, they will become ice cubes. Pieces. Shred. Debris. Beauty shred, talent shred, academic shred… And so on. In the beauty debris, there have other pieces such as kind beauty, sharp beauty, luxurious beauty, elegant beauty...

Writer Doan Minh Phuong once has written about the pieces of life as "Human contains many broken pieces. Actually, people are shredded. Life as he is shredded. Knowledge as he is shredded. Love as he is shredded. Dreams as he is shredded. Sadness as he is shredded. He writes diaries, enrolls university, confesses in a church, gets married, leaves home, draws sunflowers, sits meditation, etc… to collect his pieces back. To be whose he is fully. To know who you are when you wake up every morning.”

Int.: The mirror likes a metaphor story, doesn’t it? Even it is quite a bit of philosophy, same as the story of Alice?

TA.: Have you ever watch the cartoon "Alice in Wonderland"? Alice is a story about looking for the ones you think it is good for you, about your current life is really sucks just because your sister ate your bread for breakfast. Finally, it turns to what you find in your Wonderland, there's nothing better than the world you are living.

The cat might not need a face when it does not want to is a metaphor lead. The mirror is also a metaphor lead. These ideas are set for us to recognize that a life or fate is experiences, is the debris need to fit each pair to become perfect, is a long – term process. It requires the same cognitions and thoughts.

Alice will grow up one day and recognize that life is not a wonderland; and even if it is, it is not always good as she thought. The dreamer must be woken up.

Int.: Your action in the show was beating mirrors into piece endlessly. What do you mean of this?

TA.: I fancy this idea. Mirror shows the reliable reflection of what you have. Are you the most beautiful? How many crinkly lines on your old face? Mirror tells the truth. Mirror does not speak false, including the transmission mirrors in the Crazy Funny House.

You need a good mirror to see you fully. So do fate. Fate is all about you, not what you make. You will give fate a little sad, a little pain, a little gall from what you are doing. But fate is yours and yourself.

Plato says people in both body and soul were debris. The first human was born with four hands, four legs, a mind and a soul. In the fear of its power, Zeus divides human to two parts and force the fate must wander around looking for the other all their whole life. This is the meaning of soul mate (soul twin). In Vietnamese way, it lately referees to “find your half” can be considered as of an influence by Western views.

As Plato, soul mate is not only the harmony of soul just in mind, but also more precisely, harmony among the sentimental, mental, and physical pieces as a whole.

Int.: Having philosophy on your theory, I understand that if you want to find the human source, you need to apply philosophy for its explanations. But readers are not very often to understand and comfort to … read. Can you simply explain about your debris?

TA.: Indeed, the existence of the perfection and the A goes along with the idea of finding the other half on human itinerary are the Western optimism. Eastern concepts point out each person is one individual piece and the SELF only can mix with the A of the WHOLE when it has the search inside mind. It is not simply to find the missing half has been existed and floated somewhere in the world.

In another way, there is not as Plato said about Zeus divides people to two but what if he cut people up to thousands of thousands of pieces kick them from all over the world? And in those we had met, it can be a piece that connects the soul with each of us.

Int.: I see you mention to death. Is the death haunting you?

TA.: For life, death seems to be a relief. When you're in an extreme hopeless mood, when your life completely shut its doors in front of your face, when you are a patient of uncured cases, etc; all will lead you to think of death such as the suicide.

Death is an open knot to release the conflict between of each individual or each factor establishes to individual. Death is a completion of a fully living process.

I see death as of an obvious. I do not fear of death. I just do not want to die because I have so many things must do. As Casper, people leave their souls behind to be wandering ghosts to complete the things are not done yet. These things hold them back. They must complete their wishes to be free.

Int.: What do you think of weakness and strength? People complaint of sadness and blame themselves for too flabby. How about you?

TA.: I am a strong person. No one likes to be flabby. Sometime you need a little weakness to aware your hidden power. The pessimistic thoughts can make you feel lost and upset but if you pass them, you will be stronger.

For example, if you are fear of water and cannot swim, you will think of drowning. Then you go to the beach, put your feet down, let your toes touch to water, move yourself to the sea safely, you will never be afraid. I call that is the self fighting process.

Int.: I really want to know “Reflection – Image” in your own thoughts. Do they aim to express anything in your life?

TA.: I thank performing artist/writer Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc permits her right to me of using the poem “When we are one” as of sound track for “Reflection - Image”. This piece is an individual struggle when it has to face of the Reality – Unreality parts in the same body.

One part wants to be free, to become a new independent individual. The remaining part wants to hold back because the combination must stay alive. Reality and Unreality are two symbiotic parts cannot separate. The isolation creates disintegration and destroys every independent part plus the whole individual.

I always face myself; question myself to live good and beautiful. While life has many traps surround, the self-talk is a part of life which helps me look at self, in mirror and real.

Int.: It seems you like the movement lots, does it?

TA.: My life is a series of movement. I like to wander from places to places, to capture the emotion and changes. I love to travel by bus, train or airplane, to observe the surroundings, to feel the ways people express their emotions. That is the great endless material for my art works. I am happy to live and work like this every day.

1 comment:

Thien Huong said...


Chi rat thich cau "toi thich guong mat moc cua minh" va phan nhan xet ve guong cua em. So great my dear.