“Reincarnations of Shadows” by Thao Nguyen Phan

Focus Areas
• Italian
• History
• Art and image

In her artistic practice Thao Nguyen Phan looks back over the troubled history of Vietnam, in a narrative that is also intertwined with literature, oral history, myths and fairy tales.
Particularly in her Voyages de Rhodes, Thao Nguyen Phan retraces the contemporary history of Vietnam, superimposing the voices of the present on those of the past and showing how historical writings have often been deleted or reinterpreted. In her works, Phan creates narratives that are both fictitious and documentary, weaving together oral historical testimonies and photographic archives.

The children will be encouraged to explore the exhibition, paying close attention to those works that examine the myths, folklore, spirituality and traditions of Vietnam and that also look at the official versions of the country’s history. The workshop section will begin with an explanation of the differences between historical and mythological narration. After this, the children will be divided into groups and will try their hand at creating fantastical and realistic works based on their interpretation of the same image. Lastly, the groups will share their stories and will discuss how the narrative methods they choose are themselves a way of interpreting an apparently neutral and objective image, and how the imagination is sometimes closer to reality than reality itself.


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