Congratulations to Tuan Andrew Nguyen on The Sounds of Cannons, Familiar Like Sad Refrains (Đại Bác Nghe Quen Như Câu Dạo Buồn), a new film commission for TBA21 | Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. In this film, Tuan Andrew Nguyen juxtaposes archival footage from the US military with recently recorded images of an unexploded ordnance (UXO) deactivation in the Vietnamese coastal province of Quảng Trị.
For Nguyen, this work is part of a regenerative process. It aims to contribute towards the healing of a land that was dispossessed by its contamination. Taking its title from a line in the late sixties song Đại Bác Ru Đêm (Lullaby of Cannons for the Night) by Vietnamese songwriter and poet Trịnh Công Sơn, the film follows one of the unexploded ordnances and gives it a voice through an animistic transformation. From its drop, to its detonation in the rainforests of Vietnam, it offers closure to a menacing narrative that had been on hold for decades.
Watch the first iteration of this ongoing project online, presented in TBA21’s st_age season 2.