Hương Ngô: Ungrafting

Hương Ngô: Ungrafting

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

February 15, 2024
Hương Ngô
March 1–July 27, 2024
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Conversation with Hương Ngô: March 1, 5:30–7pm, with speakers Chadwick Allen, Aline Lo, and Justin Quang Nguyên Phan
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
30 West Dale St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States

T +1 719 634 5581
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The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition Hương Ngô: Ungrafting, opening in the museum’s El Pomar Galleries on March 1, 2024. The exhibition, featuring the art of Hương Ngô, examines how our natural world can serve as an archive of colonial history  

Time is crucial to Hương Ngô, who investigates the resonances of colonial histories in the present day. She explores various aspects of Vietnamese resistance to French colonialism through archival research and activates the historical record via imagery, language, and material matter. “The fate of our planet and biodiversity is on everyone’s minds, but how can we understand our future without examining the beliefs and actions that have transformed our world?” said Hương Ngô. 

Ngô’s first solo exhibition in Colorado displays early 20th-century photographs of foreign trees and tree grafts planted in Indochina by the French. The artist uses grafting as a metaphor for colonialism’s physical violence. Ngô reproduces the archival photographs using the Van Dyke method, altering the fixing process to make the images gradually deteriorate and darken. 

Ngô’s work includes photographs of altered plant reproductions and hanging fabric works with visible sutures treated with iron, copper, and soil from Colorado, and other materials found in the US Southwest, creating a connection between two distinct geographies. The tears in the works are a reminder of the violence of land control, but the mends represent resistance and repair. 

“Hương Ngô reveals that plants hold histories and tell stories. Her installation at the Fine Art Center engages the legacy of tree grafting to make a connection between colonization and ecology,” said Curator of Contemporary Art Katja Rivera. “Visitors will experience Ngô’s thoughtful attention to material, which she uses to explore how the past continues to make and remake the present.”   

To elaborate on the concept, the artist plans to showcase a range of works and cultural heritage pieces from our Fine Arts Center’s permanent collection. These items will further highlight the history of the region and its cultural intersections. Together, the exhibited works aim to convey the idea of “ungrafting”, which is a poetic decolonial approach that intertwines networks of care over time. 

Hương Ngô: Ungrafting is curated by Katja Rivera, Curator of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with the artist. Support for the exhibition is generously provided by The Anschutz Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries. 

About the Fine Arts Center Museum
The FAC Museum’s permanent collection of approximately 17,000 objects showcases the rich history and vibrant contemporary cultures of the Southwest and the Americas, containing works of art from Native America, Hispanic and Spanish Colonial New Mexico, and 20th and 21st-century America.  

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College  
The story of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC) began with the founding of the Broadmoor Art Academy in 1919. A museum, performing arts theatre, and community art school, the FAC is a pillar in the cultural community of the Rocky Mountain West providing innovative, educational, and multi-disciplinary arts experiences designed to elevate the individual spirit and inspire community vitality.

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Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
February 15, 2024

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