Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

Trinh T. Minh-ha: Traveling in the Dark 郑明河:暗游

12 November 2022 – 5 February 2023
2022年 11月 12日 – 2023年 2月 5日

After a three-year close collaboration with Trinh T. Minh-ha, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) is now pleased to present Traveling in the Dark, an art project that brings together an exhibition, a series of events, and a publication. Located across the four floors of RAM, the exhibition features a selection of film, images, text, and music by the artist. Born in Vietnam in 1952, Minh-ha is an artist, writer, music composer, filmmaker, and literary theorist, teaching as Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School in the departments of Gender & Women’s Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco.

As a visual, sonic, poetic, and philosophical experience, Traveling in the Dark intends to invite audiences to rethink reality differently from an approach based on “knowledge.” The play of visibility and invisibility—or what is seen, not seen and unseen—runs through the whole of Minh-ha’s work. In an open montage made up of resonances, vibrations, recollections, exchanges, brushes, reflections, and passages, this project undermines any pretense of a fixed identity, a historical truth, or a prescribed territory, and reflects on and questions the spaces opened up by the dark. Traveling in the Dark is also part of a major collaborative research project spanning 2019 to 2022 between RAM and a number of prestigious art institutions including NTU Center for Contemporary Art (Singapore), Wattis Institute (San Francisco), and Württembergischer Kunstverein (Stuttgart).

As Larys Frogier, curator of the project, puts it: Traveling in the Dark grants a particular importance to temporality, that is to say to this experience of a necessary time that one allows to oneself and with the other to stretch an image, to experience a question, to think a sensation, to make oneself available to desire in so far as it is made of so many moments of frustration, expectation, irritation, generosity and complicity. In this sense, Traveling in the Dark cannot be satisfied with a simple exhibition visit that would be based on the spectacular monstration of seductive images ready to be quickly consumed one after the other. This journey into undefined obscurities and temporalities requires from us a commitment in our own availability to dig in our buried memories, to (re)find (un)expected images or sounds, to raise questions that will never be followed by affirmative and definitive answers.

Throughout the project, RAM will organize a series of workshops, lectures, and dialogues in order to provide audiences with a more multi-faceted experience of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s world. In addition, a publication will be available to the public in 2023. Rather than an exhibition catalogue or an academic text, the publication Traveling in the Dark will be a fully-fledged artistic project expanded with writings, poems, and aphorisms by the artist alongside various interviews.





Selected Film Introduction 部分影像作品介绍

Night Passage (2004)
Night Passage is a digital film on friendship and death. Made in homage to Miyazawa Kenji's classic novel, Milky Way Railroad, the story evolves around the spiritual journey of a young woman, in the company of her best friend and a little boy, into a world of rich in-between realities. Their venture into and out of the land of "awakened dreams" occurs during a long ride on a night train. The filmmaker elegantly depicts each encounter in two-dimensional space with a unique artistic gesture and ingeniously frames the passage as a series of rhythmic image sequences as seen through the window of a train.

The Fourth Dimension (2001)
Today, when one goes on a journey the travel is ritualized through the visual machine. The image, coming alive in time as it frames time, is there where the actual and virtual meet. In the process of ritualizing Japan's "hundred flowers," it is the encounter between self and other, human and machine, viewer and image, fact and fancy that determines the field of relations in which new interactions between past and present are made possible. Shown in their widespread functions and manifestations, including more evident loci such as festival, religious rite, and theatrical performance, rituals involve not only regularity in the structure of everyday life, but the dynamic process of creating digital images at the speed of light.

Naked Spaces: Living is Round (1985)
A film on the poetics of dwelling and on the relation between houses and cosmos in West Africa. Jim Hoberman of the Village Voice says: “Naked Spaces: Living is Round surveys the integration of ritual and work, home and the world.... Each dwelling has its own blend of environmental logic and irrational splendor… the film is nonlinear, decentered and deliberately unsettling.”


如今,人在旅途时,旅行通过视觉机器被仪式化。图像在时间的定格中变得鲜活,现实和虚拟在此相遇。在对日本 "百花 "进行仪式化的过程中,正是自我与他者、人类与机器、观看者与图像、事实与幻想的邂逅让过去与现在之间新的互动关系成为可能。在其广泛的功能和表现形式中,包括更为显性的,如节日、宗教仪式和戏剧表演;仪式不仅涉及日常生活结构中的规律性,也包含以光影速度创造数字图像的动态过程。


Film Still 影像截图

Exhibition Video 展览短片

RAM Interview | Trinh T. Minh-ha: Traveling in the Dark RAM开幕对谈 | 郑明河·暗游

Collective Learning Activities 公共教育活动