Artists  Continent  Asia 

Phuong Linh Nguyen

Trùng mù - Endless, sightless

Phuong Linh Nguyen

Trùng mù - Endless, sightless


Year: 2018

Duration: 9 min 1

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation


Born 1985, Vietnam

Works in Vietnam

After travelling in various countries, the artist noticed a uniformity in the types of work available to working-class Vietnamese diaspora women in urban centres around the world. Beauty parlours and nail salons became locations the artist could hear her mother tongue spoken. In this video, a beauty parlour, a site for the maintenance of standards of beauty, is treated as a still life. Sounds heard include the ambient noise of laser treatments for the removal of dark pigmentation in favour of the current fashion for whitening skin. Smoke filters the room obscuring what we can and cannot see, drawing attention to our constant conditioning and desire for surface qualities.

The opaqueness of light through white is a metaphor for the blind spots in history. Beyond official narratives, the more you look, the blinder you become.