KÜNSTLERHAUS

BETHANIEN

Artist

Mai Nguyen Thi Thanh

Vietnam

Shadow, Tusche on digital C-prints, 13 x 18 cm, 2014

In Hue, my city, most people still live in a traditional way. Women must fit a stereotype of being obedient, soft-spoken, gentle, and faithful. Sexuality is taboo. At school and home, there is very limited sex education, so girls especially are left to discover their bodies alone. All that social pressure creates in many women an irrational sense of fear and discomfort towards our bodies. Many women of my generation share the same sentiments. It is a challenge for us to speak openly about our fears and desires.

I explore and confront the struggle and oppression of these feelings. For several years, I addressed complex issues around women’s bodies directly. Recently, I have also turned my attention to other, broader concerns, including migration and national identity. Yet the notion of struggle and an attention to difficult and repressed feelings remains central to my practice.

STAY
15.04.2015 – 15.04.2016