Nguyễn Trinh Thi

in the IBB Video Space

Video still: Back view of three people with their hair tied together, standing in front of a small hill with stone steps.

Nguyễn Trinh Thi, How to Improve the World, 2021 (Still)

© Nguyễn Trinh Thi

How to Improve the World (2021)

Set in the Central Highlands of Vietnam where a large concentration of groups of indigenous people live, “How to Improve the World“ is a film about listening. The film reflects on the differences in how memory is processed between the culture of the eye and that of the ear, while observing the loss of land, forests, and the way of life of the indigenous people in this part of the world.

“Do you trust sounds or images better?“ Nguyễn, off screen, asks her daughter, who replies “images, mum“. Of the cultural dominance of images and looking at the expense of other sensory modes, Nguyễn has said: “As our globalised and westernised cultures have come to be dominated by visual media, I feel the need and responsibility as a filmmaker to resist this narrative power of the visual imagery, and look for a more balanced and sensitive approach in perceiving the world by paying more attention to aural landscapes, in line with my interests in the unknown, the invisible, the inaccessible, and in potentialities“.

The artist

The artist and filmmaker Nguyễn Trinh Thi lives in Hanoi. She operates between film and video art, installation and performance, currently exploring the multiple relationships between image, sound and space and the power that these exert over history, memory and representation. Nguyễn‘s films and videos have been screened at festivals and exhibitions, not least documenta fifteen (2022), the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (2018), the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2016), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2015), CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (2015), the 13th Lyon Biennale (2015), the Asian Art Biennial, Taichung (2015), the 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (2014), the 4th Singapore Biennale (2013), the 15th Jakarta Biennale (2013) and the International Short Film Festival at Oberhausen (2011, 2012). In 2009 Nguyễn founded Hanoi DOCLAB, an independent centre for documentary cinema and the moving image in Hanoi. In 2015/16 she was a fellow of the DAAD’s Artists-in-Berlin programme.

IBB Video Space

Since 2011 the IBB Video Space has been screening artists who work with time-based media. The programme features not only established names in contemporary video art but also up-and-coming artists rarely seen in museums to date. For these, the Berlinische Galerie seeks to facilitate an institutional début. Each screening brings a new encounter with work that raises questions about the medium and about social or political issues. Importance is attached to including marginalised perspectives and to shedding light on the impact of power structures.

Supported by