Life is a performance. Aspects such as gender, class, culture etc. all carry a degree of performativity with them. Then, what does it mean to call oneself a performance artist? With a needle, I tattoo short pieces from my poems & philosophies onto my body using the handpoke technique. It is a performance that flows into my daily life. A performance that will continue for life. With the same motion, the needle going in and out, I sew the same words on textiles. It emulates the skin in which the performance has extended to a matter separate from the body & thereby creating a new body into the space. What is inked on my skin also appears on textile.
sewing skins
my broken tongue
from one to another
pain on display
your heart on my skin
I can still build a home while floating, Witte Rook Breda, 2020.
con đi đâu?, progress, 2019
more documentation can be found on my skin
geblinddoekt door het leven, Frank Taal Gallery, 2020.
As art is worn on my body, it becomes embedded into daily life. Art as a conversation piece finds itself outside of the art institutions & creates artistic encounters at the supermarket, on the street & so on.
in the arms of a river
Reclaiming tattooing as a decolonial practice, delves into tattooing histories that are intrinsically tied to colonialism & Christian doctrine in relation to its void in the contemporary art canon or its consideration as "low art".
Though mapping tattooing histories across cultures, there is a main focus on the lost tattooing traditions of Viet Nam, anciently known as Van Lãng (the land of the tattooed), making the research also a way of embodied knowledge.
I wish you knew me by my name
Văn Lang