March 1, 2016 - KfW Stiftung - Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai: Another World
March 1, 2016

KfW Stiftung / Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Another World, 2016. Photo: Chi Phan. Courtesy of the artist.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai
Another World
March 4–27, 2016

Opening: March 3, 7pm

Künstlerhaus Bethanien
Kottbusser Strasse 10
10999 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–7pm

Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai (born 1983 in Ha Tay, Vietnam, lives and works in Hue, Vietnam) holds a grant by KfW Stiftung for the International Studio Programme at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin and will be finishing her residency by showcasing her current project.

In her exploration of belonging, origin and uprootedness, Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai questions received ideas of cultural and sexual identity. While her past works often deal with the taboo issue of female sexuality in her home country, her current artistic research centres around individual vs. social and real vs. fictitious conceptions of life. For her recent project titled Another World, Nguyen Thi Thanh worked with young women in Berlin who she approached in the street, befriended and—once she had become close to them—followed back into their homes. It was there that she took on the identity of these women by imitating their gestures and appearance. As a result of adopting a new temporary identity, the artist was seemingly transformed into a different person. Her playful exploration of different roles was documented by the photographer Chi Phan in a comprehensive series of images. Another part of the project saw the artist moving from personal to digital interaction as she created four profiles with distinct identities on an online dating site. Her other selves elicited a flood of different reactions from her male chat partners, which she later documented in a video clip. For the Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Another World is an altogether novel, experimental kind of work that allowed her to come into contact with complete strangers and to reflect on her own anonymity and life as a migrant in Berlin from a broader perspective.

A catalogue of the exhibition is available: edited by Nicola Müllerschön and Christoph Tannert, Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai: In Silence includes an essay by Zoe Butt and an interview by Syafiatudina. Published by Verlag Kettler (Dortmund), 2016.

Promoting cultural diversity is one of the primary goals of KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt. Together with the cultural centre Künstlerhaus Bethanien, it has set up an artist-in-residence programme that seeks to stimulate intercultural dialogue by providing up-and-coming artists from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia with the opportunity to spend 12 months in Berlin. Besides encouraging artistic production and critical reflection, the programme facilitates encounters between those working in arts and culture. The infrastructure and the international environment of the cultural center offer a suitable setting, allowing participants to try out new ideas, engage in debates, and carry out projects.

For more information, please contact
Nina Huber, Deputy Programme Manager Arts and Culture, KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt: nina.huber [​at​]
Valeria Schulte-Fischedick, International Studio Programme, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin: schultef [​at​]

KfW Stiftung
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Another World
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