Datsun Tran ‘Anima’ TVH Seaforth Exhibition 2016

Anima is the breath of life. The vital force. The soul.

My art primarily features animals and nature, yet I’m not a naturalist, the work is about us, our stories. The news, our loudest narrator, is dominated by upheaval and mass exodus, the issue of asylum seekers has been politicised, the human is forgotten, their stories swept aside. Brutal images stay with us, erode our souls.

This exhibition explores a part of my story: my family’s history, the conflicts that drove my parents to seek asylum in Australia. My father left China in the 40’s because of World War 2. Then he and my mother, having always known war in Vietnam, were forced to flee with my family in the late 70’s. They are survivors. Their story has always been a cycle of conflict, win/loss, renewal. A fight to survive.

The impetus for this particular body of work came from my wife’s writing:

we are just
little clouds
of flesh and blood
forming and
dissipating
easily as mist
we dream of
solidity, eternity
as we disappear
on the morning breeze

Figures push into new territory, fighting for ground, but the abyss, dominating, bends everything to its will. This show examines the human desire to endure and be a part of something permanent. This longing manifests in many ways; we create art, construct monuments, we preserve, and even bring new life into existence. But art fades, buildings crumble and people perish. It is an illusion of permanence, the fragility of everything is the reason we find things extraordinary.

Memento mori’s are supposed to keep us humble, to remind us that death comes for us all, but I like the flip side of that. We have a finite amount of time, so even if the abyss eventually wins, memento anima, remember to live, remember your true self, fight for it.

– Datsun Tran

Click here to find out more about the exhibiting artist.

Datsun Tran

BORN 1980 Melbourne, Australia STUDIES Creative Advertising, RMIT BACKGROUND Tran is a first generation Australian from a refugee family who, as a child, had predetermined career choices that were medicine, … read more →