Display:  “A Folktale from Vietnam: Speeding Motorcycles and Roasted Lemongrass”, Gianpaolo Arena

Display: “A Folktale from Vietnam: Speeding Motorcycles and Roasted Lemongrass”, Gianpaolo Arena

Exhibition Period:  29.01.2022 - 26.03.2022

The project is the result of eight years of research and photographs taken in Vietnam by Gianpaolo Arena in 2013, 2015 and 2018, and that discover the complex connection between landscape and civilization, capturing the customs of contemporary society.

The photographer investigates the present and the future of the city, the combination and dialogue of different periods and cultures.
Between vestiges of communism and desire for consumerism, Vietnam over the last twenty years has been going through one of the most vigorous urban transitions in Southeast Asia, linked to an extraordinary and constant economic growth that forecasts suggest is only going to strengthen in the coming decades. If on the one hand the economic progress of Asian capitalism has brought numerous benefits for the entire country, on the other all the frailties that such sudden and aggressive urban development has generated are increasingly evident. Yet it is precisely in the contradictory gaps between these two aspects that the identity and urban character of Vietnamese cities and the country as a whole are framed.

Simona Galateo from “Vietnam: Urban Development  between Tradition and Globalization”

The book, curated by Chiara Capodici, was published in 2021 by Berliner publisher The Velvet Cell, funded by Eanna de Freine.

Gianpaolo Arena (1975, Italy) conducts research projects into environmental, documentary and social topics. In his work landscape and portraiture are employed as means to examine the representation of anthropized spaces and the sustainability of contemporary towns. Since 2010, he has edited the international photography magazine Landscape Stories and organized workshops and publishing and exhibition projects. He is co-founder of CALAMITA/À (2013-ongoing). In 2016 he was appointed one of the curators of the Venice Pavilion for the Architecture Biennale. In 2020 he curated the MH ART PROJECT. Arena’s work has been exhibited at several institutions and photo festivals in Italy (Triennale di Milano; MACRO [Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma]; SI Fest) and abroad (10th São Paulo Architecture Biennial, Brazil, with Latitude Platform; Alt+1000, Rossinière, Switzerland).

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