Thao Nguyen Phan has generously produced The Bay of Poetry
, 2023, a limited edition artwork to celebrate 30 years of Tate St Ives in Summer 2023. Phan has played an important part in Tate St Ives history. Her exhibition in 2022 brought together a selection of her videos, paintings and sculptures alongside new work and was her most extensive UK exhibition.
Phan’s limited edition, The Bay of Poetry
, 2023, references the bay around Bai Tho Mountain, the mountain of poetry, an area of great beauty and history in the city of Ha Long, Vietnam. The texture of the crepe-de-chine material, along with the soft and muted tones of the printing, reflect the tranquil and reflective space of the bay that inspired the work. The outer frame could suggest looking from the opening of a cave, where the scene unravels before you, with fluttering books of poetry rising from wispy reeds, not unlike insects or magical creatures taking flight.
Each print comes unframed and is accompanied by a certificate which is signed and numbered by the artist. Prices of the artwork are liable to change. As a limited edition sells out, prices of the artwork are subject to increase and the price will be clearly indicated.
Thao Nguyen Phan
The Bay of Poetry
44 x 64 cm
Digital pigment print on silk crepe-de-chine
Edition of 80, accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate
Date of work
Thao Nguyen Phan (b. 1987, Vietnam) is a multimedia artist whose practice encompasses video, painting and installation. She is internationally renowned for her poetic, multi-layered artworks which explore the historical and ecological issues facing her homeland Vietnam, while speaking to broader ideas around tradition, ideology, ritual and environmental change. Phan’s work intertwines mythology and folklore with urgent issues around industrialisation, food security and the environment. The threat posed by the destruction and excessive consumption of Earth’s resources is a recurring theme across her practice. Through storytelling, and the mixing of official and unofficial histories, her work often amplifies narratives that are less well documented, or in some cases obscured. Archive documents and oral records are dramatised through video and animation, merged with traditional silk painting and lacquerwork techniques. Combining voices and materials from different places and times, Phan collapses then redrafts the standardised histories of Vietnam and wider south-east Asia.
Selected solo and group exhibitions include Venice Art Biennial, Venice, Italy, 2022; Tate St Ives, Cornwall, UK, 2022; Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK, 2020; WIELS, Brussels, Belgium, 2020; New Orleans Museum of Art, USA, 2020; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2019; Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France, 2019; Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, 2019; Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany, 2018. She was shortlisted for the 2019 Hugo Boss Asia Art Award, and was granted the Han Nefkens Foundation-LOOP Barcelona Video Art Production Award 2018, in collaboration with Fundaciò Joan Miró and received the Grand Prize, APB Foundation Signature Art Prize, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore (2018). She is co-founder of the collective Art Labor, which explores cross disciplinary practices and develops art projects that benefit the local community. Phan is a 2016-2017 Rolex Protégée, mentored by Joan Jonas. She lives and works in in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.