VIDEO

A documentary work in collaboration with Radoslaw Stypczynski. 22 min. Poland 2008

 

The Vietnamese started coming to Poland in the late sixties and early seventies as a part of an exchange between two communist countries. This opened up for migration in both directions. Today the official number of Vietnamese living in Warsaw is estimated to 20 000 but no one knows for sure the actual number. In 'Birds of passage' you meet some of them, all with different stories and background but who all have ended up in Warsaw.

 

The humans have always moved to find a better place to live and exist. It started long ago when we spread out from Africa and it haven't stopped since then. Borders are crossed daily, some easier than others.
Vietnamese migrate to Poland, mainly as cheap labourforce. Just as the Polish come to Sweden. And finally the Swedes go to Vietnam... on holiday.



 

See "Birds of Passage" here>>>

 

Blue Eye Red Light, 2007

A three screen video installation.

 

The work is based on interviews recorded in Hanoi, Vietnam, Autumn 2006. Three students from Hanoi University of Fine Arts talk about how it is to live in a society where visiting prostitutes is regarded as a normal part of social life. Thoughts about relationships between friends came to be the big subject.

The interviews play in the middle of the three screens and on the both sides run night views from Hanoi, with red as a theme.

Massage institutes, karaokebars, and artistic hair dressers glimmer with their red windows in Hanoi´s otherwise dark night. The traffic passes by in a never ending flow. I let the red-light pictures keep distance and create a poetic atmosphere in the work.

I was myself a student at the Hanoi University of Fine Arts 2004-2005. The school and it's people opened the door into the Vietnamese society. Hanoi has become a place where I return and long for. But it is a complex feeling that keeps dragging me to Vietnam and it is in it's complexity I find the attraction. Vietnam is filled with the most beautiful experiences but at the same time it can be unbelievably cruel and sad.

I have chosen the beauty to talk about the things that really hurt. In that way I hope to get closer to the spectator.

 

A large part of the male population uses prostitutes and HIV is a increasing problem. Several students at the school are infected, even female students who have been infected by their men. A common opinion among the male students is that you have to live free and try everything. Unfortunately it has become synonymous with "If you don't visit prostitutes, you're not an artist". That is a quite traditional way of seeing the role of the male artist but not less frightening.

 

"Blue Eye Red Light" grew from the frustration and powerlessness which I experienced when confronted with this part of the Vietnamese society that I cannot and don't want to accept. I started to discus these matters together with some vietnamese friends. Human value, power structures, economy, lust, HIV and culture clash was some of the things we talked about.

 

In Vietnam it's not common to talk openly about prostitution, at least not as something negative, and especially not between men and women. But the discussion started and spread. "Blue Eye Red Light" became a part of something bigger that hopefully lives on as rings on water.

 

 

Mr. Loi:

I was at a performance workshop in Hue... It was ridiculous! Everybody went

”there”, with our curator.

I have never gone. But I feel they think something is wrong with me because I don’t go.

But this time we drank a lot. I stopped being shy, so I went.

 

Miss. Ha:

I check, I talk with some friend.- Have you ever used prostitutes? Yes or no? With every friend who answers ”yes” I feel, Oh! I loose one more...

 

Mr. X:

Do you know who I met there? I met our teacher. Teachers, managers, police, students

...all of us go there.