Exhibition,artist Vo Tran Chau,art made from old cloth
Large paintings made by artist Vo Tran Chau from old clothes. — Photo courtesy of The Factory

The exhibition entitled Nhặt Lá Rừng Xưa (Leaf Picking in The Ancient Forest) will feature her recent works.

In this exhibition, Chau recycles old clothes and transforms them into a number of hanging paintings. Many of them feature sites that no longer exist such as Nam Dinh Textile Factory; Sai Gon Tax Trade Centre and Tra Co Cathedral.

Working with digital photographs of these sites, Chau turns the pictures into pixel graphs, which she uses as a foundation to recreate mosaics by sewing colour-coded fabric squares together.

By reconstructing architectural structures and symbols that have completely or partially disappeared from public memory, the artist contemplates how cultural identity is pictured and remembered.

Chau has worked with fabric for many years, which is a primary material within this exhibition.

For the last two years, Chau has been collecting garments that were dumped in unidentified containers scattered around docks in HCM City, particularly Cat Lai dock.


She recalls feeling puzzled by the excessive production of the fashion industry and its impact on the environment, particularly on developing countries who are the major production houses of the industry.

Born to a traditional craft family, the artist chooses old cloth and clothes to reflect the relationship between history and society.

She has researched Vietnamese history and culture to create artworks highlighting labour forces, consumption and waste.

Besides exhibitions in Vietnam, Chau has held shows in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

A talk show with a presentation by the artist will be held at 4pm on February 22.

The exhibition will run until April 10 at contemporary art centre The Factory, 15 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien Ward, District 2. — VNS

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