nguyễn trinh thi

video and moving image works

KVT Review of “Jo Ha Kyu”

Read original posting of KVT Review of Jo Ha Kyu on Hanoi Grapevine
KVT – A River Flows through

May 2012


Thi’s video art piece filigrees into exceptional visual haikus. Even the sound track is its own aural series of these poems.

The Jo Ha Kyu is followed through beautifully in this meditative art work as it opens with a low white noise that becomes an urban train with commuters sleeping and then hones on a child who leads us into a wide eyed meandering discovery of a city.

The child motif recurs throughout the film, perhaps allowing us to see the city in an uncomplicated, wondrous way…allowing it to unfold its prisms nonjudgmentally.

There’s a commencement to the Ha section of the piece that makes you gasp… when a bystander becomes the conductor of the action and we begin to have a big band score, reminiscently West Side Story, filter in and out playing accompaniment to the marvelous choreography of feet and legs and bodies…the river simile, I guess, that widens and flows, eddies, stalls, pushes and pulls and then rushes frenetically until it crashes into a very still and green treed denouement where the child seems to take us by the hand and lead us to a place to pause and allow reflection.

Those filigrees: the masks and faces (wonderful sequence). Tradition and modernity; youth and age; urban gloss and decay; concrete, glass and asphalt that spills suddenly into trees and moss and deep cool shadows; night and day.

The part featuring a china rabbit and the naked jumper is impossibly beautiful and the symbolism of the moon that becomes measured time is pure poetry.

The more I sat through the film, the more I got softly enmeshed in its silken threads that weave and spill pleasantly through your mind.

Exhibition Jo Ha Kyu 5


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