An Unbearable Lightness Between Sky and Water: Lien Truong

13 January - 7 February 2024
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, butter and line the base of two cake tins with baking parchment.
The artist turns the dial, worn with use so jams at 300.
Hands drag fat across cold metal, translucence crunch over the top.

Using a whisk, beat the butter and sugar together, the two strangers an unlikely meeting of grainy mass. Keep whisking until the frenzy of arm against saccharine lumps blur infrared, deep yellow flashing lightning to turn pale.
I remember thirsting for sweet
Clear juice boils to turn crystallic
Prising open grandma’s teeth
to find mealy mung beans mashed with a half nail of
Extreme Refinement
I poke my head into her cavemouth
and beg her to spit back out the specks
of sweetsalt I grow up to never eat.

Eggs spill their gelatine over butter
to add desireable fluff and shine. The whisk’s balloon drags bloodclouds into the fold that bloodrain into the sea. Above us there seems only sky / and cloud seeding; what is sacred must also weep.
Sometimes I see only inversion
sky and land / myths told by shadow
Devils dance with the deceased
Or no, just women, ruling darkness
Whisk again, half bag of flour. The other half ration for later.
With outstretched arms, tip your bowl into your tins, and watch the ribbons of batter submit to roundness. Bake in the centre of the oven to
reach for the promise
of cake.
– Thái Hà
After Jihyun Yun’s War Soup and a recipe for sponge cake.

Galerie Quynh is excited to present An Unbearable Lightness Between Sky and Water  a solo exhibition by Lien Truong featuring some of her most ambitious work to date. The show weaves together languages of paint, textile, and food, forming a hybrid, diasporic language of love dedicated to Truong’s late mother who passed in April last year. Built on a practice long examining material ideologies and notions of heritage, the works blend painting techniques and philosophies with military, textile, and food histories, alongside a timeline of Truong’s family’s migration from north to south Vietnam, then to the United States.
Installation Views