For some time now Lai Dieu Ha has been a prominent name associated with performance art in Vietnam, in particular, with those performances that have received the most controversy in public opinion. Embedded in her often visceral acts are concerns with the threshold of pain, social constraints on the female body, and the possibilities of corporeal transformation.
Conservation of Vitality is a series of material explorations tied to themes of destruction, re-use, mythology, and exploration. Infused by a constellation of preoccupations, this is a collection of handcrafted objects driven by interests in the scientific, the mythological, and the ethnographic. It appears that the radical gestures of Ha’s previous performances, challenging the artist’s own psychosomatic thresholds, have found another conduit in a craft-based project that nonetheless draws together interrelated contemplations on cycles of life and death, creation and destruction, as though attempting to transport the artist back to an age of innocence.
Lai Dieu Ha (b. 1976) is now currently living and working in Hanoi. After numerous renowned career developments in performing art since 2006, Ha now has taken on a new phase in her artistic development as a visual artist. Conservation of Vitality is her first solo exhibition and with CUC Gallery, supported by CDEF.