‘Well Settled’ opens at LUX, 4 Nov – 16 December

LUX, London
4 November – 16 December 2023
Well Settled Exhibition with Nhà Sàn Collective, Moi Tran, George Clark and Lưu Chữ
18 December ‘Amplifying Archives’ launch with Cường Minh Bá Phạm, Trà My Hickin, Koa Phạm, Stefan Nielsen, Nic Anette Miller and Thierry Phung

Well Settled is an exhibition of new commissioned works responding to the An Việt Archives presented as part of the British Council UK/Vietnam Season 2023. The exhibition presented a series of commissioned works from artists in both the UK and Vietnam, proposing new models for how archives and shared heritage can be activated and made accessible. The exhibition features new works from Nhà Sàn Collective, Moi Tran, George Clark and Lưu Chữ presented for the first time and launch of new audio project Amplifying Archives.

Well Settled opening 4th November 2023
Installation shot The Scattered Body or A World Unclouded by Dust (George Clark, 2023)

The exhibition featured by film ‘The Scattered Body or A World Unclouded by Dust’ explores fragmented histories and the invisible work to care for archival objects from a Vietnamese community archive in Hackney to a state film archive in Hanoi. Moving through the archives and their systems of care, the body is both a material and medium to explore the multiple lives of archival objects, the spaces that contain them and the ecstatic labour that sustains them. 

The film was shown alongside two new works: Nhà Sàn Collective‘s Night of the 30th / Đêm Ba Mươia a new moving image work filmed at the residence of Mr. Manh Duc, a home in close proximity to the collective and their community of artist friends for many years. In thise playground, a mystical world emerges; a cinema is reenacted. As the film unfolds, a river, a garden, spirits, wooden structures, people and, objects appear, dissolve and reappear, as if they were characters morphing into one another. The film draws attention to cinematic transformation of physical and immaterial beings as a process of experiencing diverse forms of archives. Moi Tran’s new experiment ‘The Lost Buffalo and Sister Imposter’ that ‘exercises a process of analogue encoding / decoding to conjure up drawings, text, microfilm documents and visual scores for sonic improvisation in a constellation of speculative communication. The experiment is situated at the interface of communication and ‘information repository systems’ that is found in all sites of information storage and transmission, whether that be an archive, an image, a song, a text, a conversation, a code.

These new works are part of a larger year-long project to develop new tools for accessing, activating and sharing the collection and shared heritage. A parallel exhibition will be presented in Vietnam at The Outpost, Hanoi, 24 November – 17 December 2023.

Well Settled opening 4th November 2023
‘Night of the 30th’ (2023) by Nhà Sàn Collective, Well Settled, LUX
‘The Lost Buffalo and Sister Imposter II’ (2023) by Moi Tran Encoded Text Paintings, Well Settled, LUX
‘Books from the South East Asian Research Centre, An Viet Library by George Clark, Well Settled, LUX
An Việt banner by Lưu Chữ at Well Settled opening 4th November 2023, LUX

Background to exhibition

In 2021, Hackney Archives and the Hackney Chinese Community Services received a grant from the National Archives, enabling them to rescue the An Việt Archives – the largest known British Vietnamese community archive in the UK which was almost lost when their former building in Hackney was squatted. The historical documents were created by the An Viet Foundation (AVF), which was set up in Hackney in 1981 to support Vietnamese settlement in London after the Second Indochina War. It was a central hub for Vietnamese families providing support with housing, health outreach, English language, and mother tongue classes.

On 18 November the broadcast commission ‘Amplifying Archives’ by Cường Minh Bá Phạm, Trà My Hickin, Koa Phạm, Stefan Nielsen, Nic Anette Miller and Thierry Phung will be launched at our listening party.

The projects have been commissioned by An Việt Archives, supported by the British Council as part of the UK/Vietnam Season 2023 and Hackney Archives, LUX, Nhà Sàn Collective, The Outpost, Á Space and the University of Westminster.