7/13 – 7/21 Koa Pham Exhibition “A melted form creates stains on surface”

〜Exhibition at the gallery attached to the cafe LAKE〜

monade contemporary|単子現代
July 13 (Sat) – 21 (Sun), 2024|Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 14:00-19:00

Artist Talk: July 13 (Sat), 18:00-19:00 Koa Pham (artist)
Opening reception: July 13 (Sat), 19:00-21:00

Talk Event: July 14 (Sun), 2024, 14:00-15:00 *one drink order
The Art and Ethics of Curating Traced from Vietnam, Guest: Mizuki Endo (Curator)

The term “paradise,” often associated with great happiness, is examined beyond its religious connotations. Drawing inspiration from the song “Pure Imagination” by Gene Wilder, the idea of paradise as a state of mind is emphasized. This abstract definition suggests that one can experience paradise by simply perceiving it that way.

“If you want to view paradise
 Simply look around and view it
 Anything you want to, do it
 Want to change the world?
 There’s nothing to it”

The lyrics encourage viewing the world as paradise, indicating a sense of agency in defining one’s reality. However, the text questions whether idealizing a condition as paradise may numb individuals to the harsh realities of life, echoing Karl Marx’s critique of religion as an opiate for the oppressed.

“A melted form creates stains on surface” can be perceived as an performative element. The chemical reaction happens when bath bomb meets water. This form, a common bath bomb widely employed in bathing practices, serves as a representation of both the tangible and intangible facets of paradise. The image of dissolving bath bomb encapsulates the essence of paradise right when it undergoes its interaction with water.

As the form dissolves, stains are left on the surface, akin to evidence of the paradise state of mind. A vanish layer is then applied to preserve these stains, symbolizing the effort to hold on to the fleeting moments of paradise. The sensory experience, with sizzling, bubbling, and a beautiful fragrance, contrasts with the challenge of understanding the original form before it melts, creating an intriguing exploration of the complexities surrounding the concept of paradise.

This paradox explores how our mentality influences our daily actions. It delves into the quest to define and achieve paradise in our minds, examining the relationship between the paradise within our thoughts and the external “paradise” before our eyes.

〈Exhibition Information〉
monade contemporary | 単子現代 is pleased to present “A melted form creates stains on surface,” a solo exhibition by Koa Pham.

Koa Pham has been creating artworks that explore the changing process of the relationship between people and objects in space. Involving a variety of media such as drawing, sculpture, performance, and design, Koa examines the relationship between objects, people, and space, focusing on how objects mediate and affect the decisions of people.

In this exhibition, Koa presents two-dimensional works created by melting colorful bath bombs to express the ambivalence of a political system represented as a kind of paradise. The bath bombs are filled with a quiet euphoric scent of multicolored bath salts, and in the process of melting and mixing the individual fragments, a haunting form emerges.

Looking back on the history of the Vietnamese nation as a history of the struggle for the right to the paradise envisioned by capitalism and socialism, or freedom and equality, the melting process of the colors that occupy the plane reveals an interfering field of forces where particles are struggling with each other from deep within the surface, creating a zone of stains that foreshadows the struggle of people’s feelings, desires, and sentiments.

How do people face their feelings and relate to their surroundings when they live in paradise, a state of tranquility and pleasure? Please join us in the play of shimmering particles that reflect the sentiments of our hearts and minds amid the flowing fragments of multicolored bath bombs.

Koa Pham https://koaph.am
Artist. Born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in 1993, Koa Pham lives in London and works in London and Vietnam. He is involved in different mediums such as drawing, sculpture, performance, and design. His work prominently investigates the relationship between objects, humans, and spaces, with an emphasis on how objects could put an agency on humans and influence their decision-making.

〈Talk Event Guest〉
Mizuki Endo (Curator)
Born in Sapporo in 1975. Executive Director of Higashiyama Artists Placement Service (HAPS) and a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).