Memory Dispute

22:42 min, HD b/w video, sound
Dimensions variable
2017

The video work draws from the themes of the body in its various political aspects. In the 22min video work Tieu investigates the shifting economies of the use of toxins in past and contemporary Asia.

'Memory Dispute' (2017) captures a remote rainforest in central Vietnam, an area heavily attacked by napalm during the Vietnamese American war, the footage recording ghostly images of an ecosystem now irrevocably altered. The landscape becomes a metaphorical study when contrasted by captions which meticulously document the process of a skin whitening treatment prevalent in Asia. An acid fluid is applied onto the body to separate two skin layers, allowing the entire first layer of skin to be peeled off.

The video work maps disparate and converging lines between the inflammable liquid napalm and that of an acid skin peel, exploring the body, nature and Vietnam’s layered historic colonial legacy as a vessel exposed to harm and self-harm and wider implications to future uncertainties.

Camera: Sung Tieu
Edit: Dan Rees & Sung Tieu
Sound: Alexis Chan