Truong Cong Tung

b. 1986. Lives and works in Ho Chi Minh. Tung is interested in spiritual culture, oral history, folklore, spells and evil spirits with strange and mysterious nuances. His works are a combination of video, installation, paintings and found objects that reflect his personal thinking, changes of society and issues of race, religion and politics.

Magical Garden, 2012?2014
Found photographs, reprinted on C-print, 30×40 cm (each), 8 pieces
Truong Cong Tung studies Vietnamese people’s beliefs in suffering, fate and ideas of the supernatural. Like an anthropologist, he carried out field trips and research in “Magic Garden” in Long An Province (a private garden open to the public believed to have healing powers), where he looked into people’s spiritual beliefs and rituals, practices yet to be verified by science as a cure. In his research, he discovered belief?or, rather, delusion?is like a dream and is used as an effective tool to treat patients by psychiatrists. Cong Tung also expands his research to rituals of worshipping sacred objects believed to grant people wishes. His half-fictional, half-documentary artworks reveal layers of belief resulting from collective suffering or individual misery.
[Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran,]