In Heterotopias, I work within a hybrid genre of history painting, interpreting narrative moments that have shaped our collective history. Embracing Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopias as sites that mirror, distort, and invert other spaces, my painted gestures bear the uniform of regional textile designs; referring to a worldwide textile trade that for centuries has been a complicated narrative of migration, hierarchy and power. The trade assigned the various Easts with exotic mystery, and supplanted it significantly as the other. The nonverbal aesthetics of textiles transcends language barriers, yielding notable capacity to be culturally absorbed. The paintings create a hybrid space between the void in eastern landscape painting and the pictorial horizon line, in which the gestures envelope, penetrate and permeate each other among echoes of eastern water motifs and fluids; signifying the separation of nations, and dissolving of the painted bodies. The movements become phantoms to the chords of colonialism and conflict, creating a labyrinth of violence, migration and coupling. The paint and space coalesce, creating an entanglement of our eternally diasporic, global world.
This summer I travel to Hanoi, Vietnam and will be designing silk and linen textile, which will function as the support for new paintings. My objective in employing this fabric as the foundation of the painting is to embed in it the context of the textile trade’s intricate lineage between East and West.
For more information about Lien Truong, please visit her website.