Made of three tons of Vietnamese sea salt bound with water, Boat is inspired by the salt villages of northern Vietnam. Nguyen conceived of this work as “a sculpture in the shape of a simple boat made of solid salt. I like the idea of the boat because it has so many metaphors: an eye, a fish, a leaf, a piece of rice, a grave, a boat itself going to be dissolved in the sea. I didn’t think about cultural custom or censorship in this work but more about creating a minimal landscape in space.” The sculpture is intended to dematerialize while it is on view. As the water evaporates, the salt begins to crumble and dissolve, its disappearing form symbolizing the way that events in history may slip away from memory or exist only as fragmented forms in our minds. As Nguyen observes, “It’s very exciting to me that the salt is melting during the exhibition; this makes the work continuous and perhaps never truly finished. The landscape is slowly transforming all the time.”
Born in Hanoi in 1985, Nguyen Phuong Linh has exhibited and held artist residencies with the Borsa di Studio of the Accademia Albertina delle Belle Arti (Turin, Italy) and Yunnan-Vietnam Female Artists Exchange program (Kunming, China). In Vietnam she has participated in group shows such as Chewing in 10+ at Nha San Studio and To be born at Campus Hanoi.