tôi viết (tiếng Việt) i write (in Vietnamese) imagines and constructs an exhibition of word-objects and letter-beings born from a play between texts and images and sounds in various materials and mediums, along with poetic prints of young (Vietnamese) writers and artists in Vietnam.

The core and starting point of the working process among authors, translators and artists in this project is the writing action. Writing letters: they appear and disappear, are born and transform, melt and dilute, are lost and are found; writing letters translates into writing pictures, writing moving images, writing sounds, writing papers, writing earth, writing waters. The word objects and letter beings here are not only multimedia and multilingual experiments of these writers who “encroach” upon other arts, but also a process of searching, experimenting, failing to experiment, translating and self-translating in between different materials and mediums, to come back to the initial question: which (Vietnamese) language could I write in, and how? This question is intimately significant to these young writers and artists, the writers who use languages other than Vietnamese in their ordinary and writing life, the writers who write in Vietnamese and are not yet geographically rooted, the writers whose only choice is Vietnamese, the writers who want to commit their whole lives to Vietnamese, ect. A question of root, of origin. The streams flow away from their origin as forming their existences. The roots absorb nutrients from the air and grow upwards. tôi viết (tiếng Việt) i write (in Vietnamese) is by itself a hesitation, a dilemma, going back and forth. What apparently exists: the act of writing, as the act of water flowing, as the act of roots absorbing nutrients, patient, boring, resilient, tiptoeing, creeping, and floating.

-Nhã Thuyên
February, 2021

Im lặng nhẫn nại của vực sâu hối thúc tôi mở mình | The patient silence of the abyss urged me to open myself

Poem by Linh San, translated by Châu Hoàng

Poems and translations by Nguyễn Thùy Dương, Nguyễn Lâm Thảo Thi, and Mai Duy Quang

Poems and translations by Red, Lượng Trần, Vũ Anh Vũ & Nguyễn-Hoàng Quyên

Poems and translations by Nguyễn Khánh Duy, Mai Duy Quang, Hải Anh, and Nguyễn Quang Kiếm

Poems and translations by Lan Anh, Thu Uyên, Thùy Dương, and Nhi Đàm

Poems and translations by Thu Uyên and Hương Trà

Poem by Sơn Ca, translated by Lan Anh and poem by Kai Ng, translated by Thu Uyên

Poem and self-translation by Nguyễn-Hoàng Quyên

Tôi phải ở lại trong ngôn ngữ này, như đã trong một cơn mơ bổng, như đã trong một cú kéo chìm, một tự trói buộc, nhọc nhằn và vẫn ở đó, chút lửa nhen. | I have to reside in this language, as in a flying dream, as in a sinking down, a self-bound, burdensome and still there, little fire.

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