Ecological Responsibility: How?

“Reincarnations of Shadows” by Thao Nguyen Phan

Focus areas
• Civics
• History
• Geography

In her work, Thao Nguyen Phan explores the theme of ecological responsibility from a strictly personal point of view. She does this by observing the Mekong River, which is emblematic of the profound changes to the land caused by colonialism and agricultural exploitation, and the climate change this has led to. In many of the works we see in the exhibition, such as Becoming Alluvium, First Rain, Brise Soleil, Delta (from the Perpetual Brightness series), and Man Looking Towards Darkness, the artist highlights the relationship between myth and ecology, which is a feature of her artistic practice. Here, ancestral knowledge is brought into the contemporary discourse as a legacy for generations and actions of the future. In particular, she shows how the Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann managed to combine modernist materials and structures with the characteristic elements of southeast Asia, creating environmentally friendly building without violently impacting local resources.

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