Mary Lou DAVID

Residency Program

Curator Residency Program

update: 2023.8.31

Mary Lou DAVID

Participating ProjectCurator Residency Program
Activity BasedHo Chi Minh City
City / Place stayedTokyo
Period2023.9 - 2023.11
Purpose of the residency

A few years ago, I came across Ryoko Sekiguchi's book titled Nagori. While her work focused on observations of nature and its produce, I was intrigued by this term signifying both the remains of the waves and a nostalgia for a season that had just left. This inspired me to develop a project focusing on untranslatable words and how they would in turn be translated into artworks, offering a glimpse of the subtle perceptions intrinsic to our languages. At times we forget how words have profoundly shaped our individual cultures and the way we feel or experience the world, how linguistic nuances have made each culture undefinable and unique. As we constantly ingest sensations and emotions, we organise them into concepts, prioritising some over others according to the words that our languages have given us access to. The project - transposable into various languages as an ongoing enquiry - aims to develop new artworks and present existing pieces tied to these untranslatable words that encompass so much about our cultures, tying an artist's work with a linguistic view and sensitivity, an offering an immersive experience that goes beyond the lines of a lexicon.

Plan during the residency
  • Create a series of interviews - with photographic documentation - with artists and develop these into a series of short texts. These will serve the basis of the website archive for the project.
  • Conduct additional interviews with Japanese linguists or language history specialists to finalise the curatorial proposal and introductory text of the project.
  • Begin selection and discussion of potential collaborators in regards to the project: select existing works or sketch out possible commissions for a future exhibition.
  • Build a network of organisations that have a focus on new media - especially experimental moving image and video art to understand how to better support such practices back in Vietnam.
  • Build network of independent / grassroot arts organisations with an interest in regional exchanges and interdisciplinary practices.

Creator Information