my eldest sister: curated by Zoe Butt and Tammy Nguyen
San-Art, Ho Chi Minh City
16 December 2010 – 1 January 2011
‘Chi Toi’, is a project composed of two exhibitions, in two stages, by 20 local young graduates of the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University.
For this project, San Art has asked artists to artistically respond to the popular lyrics of a 1980s song called ‘Chi Toi’ (My Sister), by TrầnTiến.
The lyrics of this song speak of a young man’s eldest sister and her dedication to her family. It speaks of a particular kind of love, of sacrifice and familial duty. It also reflects a customary attitude of the different roles and responsibilities between men and women in contemporary Vietnam. Women who are the eldest of a large family in Vietnam are often the surrogate mothers for their siblings. This can lead to the eldest sister never marrying and having a family of her own. This song can be heard on radio and can be found in the numerous karaoke bars across Vietnam today.
In the first exhibition, 10 gentlemen were asked to imagine they are the brother in this story; while this second exhibition asks 10 young ladies to imagine they are the eldest sister. The resulting artworks will present a unique insight into the social landscape of Vietnam’s youth. Works could encompass the technique of painting, drawing, printing, sculpture, installation or sound and much more.