200 Voices


Arno Baude - Vietnam

I live abroad, in South East Asia. Here, a ‘paradise’ is preserved for western tourists and investors in “amazing Thailand” and “wonderful Indonesia”. These sound like perfect getaways, but symbolize globalization to me. 

The tropics are home to extravagant plenitude as well as bitter destitution. My works show the ambivalence.

I came to Vietnam by accident. No French historical past brought me here. I wanted only to experience.

Living in Asia taught me that Art is breathing; a healthy practice in a foreign socio-cultural area.

I use Body Art to capture a glimpse of sceneries wherever I go. I mark an ironic path of my journey with postcards. I am on display in the places I visit - I stand out culturally and pinpoint every location that speaks to me.

My Visual Art is a reflection of Asian cultures seen through a western prism. I produce ready-mades that, for example, show Michael Jackson, the world acclaimed pop-singer, on a Vietnamese gravestone.

I collect typical cultural pieces which I compulsively mix and layer with my own concepts. There are elements of luck in my wandering which provide the seeds of creation. My western stereotype will shape them into my own cultural background.

Essentially, I’m an artist in a globalized area who represents the “same, same but different” in socio-cultural terms and, as long as I stay here I will remain a foreigner like a Hawaïan amongst Hanoïans.

Cultural Integration is very difficult thing to design. There is always a spiral process in that when you experiment with it, it gives you a better understanding of your origins. You become a person in-between two cultures; sometimes lost in translation, yet richer, with multiple world views and less dogmatic. Everything is less certain when you live abroad. There are less clues for how you should handle situations. But it is a mighty power you possess when you feel freer, untied.

Website: http://www.arnobaude.com

Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/arnobaude

Asia Archive: http://www.aaa.org.hk/event_detail_print.aspx?event_id=12628

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