Vietnamese Immigrating Garden (No. 3)

Tuan Mami (Nguyen Anh Tuan)

Vietnamese Immigrating Garden (No. 3), ‘Can These Plants Invade and Destroy This Land?’
Tuan Mami, 2022, Duration: 10 minutes 32’’, This moving-image work used/reproduced/composed photographs from Archive Massive in Spinnerei Art Space for Leipzig International Arts Program.
All images courtesy of the artist

Immigrating Garden(No. 3) is a dialogue between a research about Vietnamese immigrated plants which travel with Vietnamese community to get into Germany and be so-called as illigal plants,  and history of Leipzig Cotton Mill where the Spinnerie Gallery is located, that relearns the colony of German East Africa period in the 19th century which German stretched the cotton plantations across Africa to provide for their big textile companies in Europe. The two close look researches try to unlearn the hierarchies in structures of our politics, our powers, our benefits, and our social matters.
The moving image work ‘Can These Plants Invade and Destroy This Land?’ re-discovers different layers of migration in an archiving room to understand our long human journey, and see how plants become powerful and take important part in our history. It also tries to re-learn the impact and hidden aspects of colonization embedded into arts, histories and objects.
As a matter of politics, I see the plants as an actor navigating in the global world. Coming along with people who have been colonizers, invaders, investors, laborers, economic migrants, refugees, students etc., the plants participate actively in creating hierarchies in the system of our politics and our social matters. With this interdisciplinary research, I aim to create open-dialogues between the past and the present, the micro and macro histories, and especially between humans located in contradict positions of the power structure. 
Looking into the history of German cotton plantation across East Africa in the 19th century, I want to examine how actually the cotton plants conquer the today global garment industry emerging from Europe. From such perspective, the Migrating Garden will raise questions on equality, humanity, and understanding towards our becoming-political system. On top of these issues, the question on ‘Is it enough to question?’ hinges over the project and opens up an uncertainty towards our future in the face of war and climate change. 

About the Artist

  • photo credit @Felix Schmitt

Tuan Mami (Nguyen Anh Tuan)
b.1981, Live and work in Hanoi, Vietnam Website: 
Founder of Á Space:
Co-founder of Nha San Collective: 

Mami is an interdisciplinary-experimental artist, working with site-specific installation, video, performance and conceptual art, who constantly explores new mediums, means and methods of evolving with reflective questioning, and social research.
In recent years, he has begun to explore and observe the concept of how we are *human* on the move. Starting from 2014, Mami has been researching about moving communities in Vietnam and Vietnamese diasporas around the world. He has tried to observe what has happened in these communities, what has remained, appearing and disappearing culturally, mentally, politically in the attempt to adapt and survive in their new contexts. 

His focus deals with questions about life, social interactions between people, and people with their environment, to re-construct situations into ones that engage people or objects from particular reality to enter and involve together in a social process. 

Mami has held number of solo exhibitions such as: “Protest Against the Void”, Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, 2013; “24Hours Tension”, PØST, Los Angeles, 2013; “In a Breath-Nothing Stands Still”: in Art Rotterdam 2016; Factory art space, Hochiminh 2018; Teratotera, Tokyo 2018...
He has also participated in many international exhibitions including: “The Clouds Will Tell”, Changwon Sculpture Biennale, S.Korea 2014; “Plastic Myths”, ACC Gwangju, S.Korea 2015; “Krisis”, Nottingham, UK 2016; “Documenting Change- Our Climate”, The –CU Art Museum, Colorado 2019; "Southeast Asia Performance Collection", The Haus Der Kunst, Munich 2019, “Co- Inspiration in Catastrophe”, MOCA Taipei, Taiwan ; “Matter of Art”, Prague Biennale, Czech Republic 2020; Documenta15, “Nhà Sàn Collective”, Kassel, 2022...

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation