Inspired by the conflicts around the Spratly islands in the South China Sea, Nguyen started on a multi-phased project called TIME BOOMERANG. TIME BOOMERANG will begin in the South China Sea & set sail from there. It will visit our complex post-colonial history and venture further into the unknown: past and present. It will explore the historic past and future consequences, which originated from the lasting impact of human colonial history. As a Vietnamese artist whose own diasporic story is a product of the recent past, Nguyen chose to approach that history from his personal perspective. TIME BOOMERANG puts forward the questions: Can we avoid future conflicts or we only learn to magnify it? Did once-colonized countries learn to be new “colonizing” countries from their colonial past? Did that kind of history direct our actions now? If we are forever Barbarian, what will we do next? To begin the TIME BOOMERANG journey, I center my concept around the idea of MEASUREMENT.
Time Boomerang will be carried out in 8 phases
Phase 1: The Real Distances of Things Measured: The cast of the hands and its five fingertips. (completed)
Phase 2: The New Conqueror with a Good Passport (video of my traveling to 5 different locations on 5 continents to drop off my fingertips, video of the airplane taking off, landing, cruising, launch fingertips in places)
Part 1 of 5: Europe (completed)
Part 2 of 5: Australia (completed)
Part 3 of 5: America (2016)
Part 4 of 5: Africa (TBA)
Part 5 of 5: Antarctica (TBA)
Phase 3: Local to International. The child is growing (video performance cutting fingers)
Phase 4: Kissing the Motherlands: video performance of me visiting all the countries on earth and kiss each place as my own country. It is based on a story of Ho Chi Minh kissing his motherland after many years being abroad.
Phase 5: Cartography 101. The Map Making, Reshuffling, Destroying, etc (Continents on the skeleton of the Earth. Do in wax and bronze). A casting of the World Map that has all the continents using Shifting World Map Mold. The continents will occupy new locations on the map after each casting.
Phase 6: Rape, Kill, Bully, Buy, Sell, Fought, Love, Won, Lost, Fuck, Celebration: Time Boomerang (100 sculptures of hands stretch) remakes and reimagines our elated/messy/violent/chaotic history of victory, conquer and defeat. Each hand stretch will be envisioned and sculpted as a ship, castle or fortress or island or carrier, credit card, religions, etc. All of them together with all the phases from 1 to 8 will form an installation along with 5 fingertips and hand. Among them will have the guillotine and the perpetual machine representing failed ideals. Also, a sculpture of bones of Nguyen's hands, he will X-ray his right hand in 3 D and sculpted its many bones with a spike attached. It will be part of the exhibition.
Phase 7: Earth History - In Search of Lost Time & Future: No Vacancy and Light Sculpture (different eras of the earth in light neon sculpture, setting the time timeline for the history of the Earth from 650 million years ago till now and 250 million years into the future.
Phase 8: The sculpture going around in a circle.
Follow up with the process on our Facebook page, or look up with the hashtags #timeboomerang, #uudamtrannguyen, #timeboomerangperformance