Virtual installation A way to preserve

A way to preserve by Huy An
© Manzi

A virtual installation by Nguyễn Huy An
Lenin Park, Điện Biên Phủ Street, Ba Đình District

Lenin Park (previously known as Chi Lăng Park) is one of the largest public spaces in Hanoi. In 1985, the government erected a 5.2 m high bronze statue of Lenin facing Điện Biên Phủ Street at its centre.
For some, a Lenin statue in Hanoi is perhaps objectionable. But for the artist it is part of this city and its history, much like the Indochinese villas, Long Bien Bridge or Chinese temples.

Since the statue is in considerable risk of being pulled down due to the winds of change, Huy An feels the need to preserve a part of it and has done so by archiving the statue’s shadow through recording and measuring it at different points of time, to then present it in different formats including digitisation. Using an augmented reality platform Huy An has developed a new and intriguing way to showcase and conserve the work: a virtual installation of shadows of the Lenin Statue floating all over the park. Perhaps at one point in the future, some of these shadows will wander further; but for this very first AI rendition of the work, they are confined to the park that, for now, is still home to their ‘real’ counterparts.

Nguyễn Huy An

Born in 1982 in Hanoi and graduated from the Vietnam Fine Art University in 2008, Nguyen Huy An is considered one of the most dynamic and innovative artists of his generation. Huy An’s work has been a process of trying to dig into the darkness of psychology. Most of his projects have been underpinned by an obsession with memory and the complexities of a pessimistic perspective. From installations, performance art to paintings and sculptures, Huy An’s works are highly acclaimed by international art critics and curators for their introspective, simple and strong concepts.

Huy An has participated in a number of exhibitions and performance art festivals including 78 Rhythms, Galerie Quynh, Vietnam (2014); Disrupted Choreographies, Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nimes, France (2014); If The World Changed, Singapore Biennale (2013); Sounds of Dust (somniloquy), 943 Studio Kunming, China (2011) among others.